Loading in 2 Seconds...
Loading in 2 Seconds...
Experimental philosophical semantics and the real reference of ‘Gödel’. Amir Horowitz The Open University of Israel firstname.lastname@example.org SPE6, June 2013 St. Petersburg. Purposes: 1. Defending the significance of experimental semantics;
The Open University of Israel
SPE6, June 2013
Kripke’s attack on the descriptivist theory of names The Gödel/Schmidt alleged counterexample The status of the claim that ‘Gödel’ refers to Gödel - a universal intuition?Machery, Mallon, Nichols & Stich (MMNS) experimentalist challenge- carried out under the assumption that that claim is justified by an appeal to a “widely shared intuition“.The experiment: To whom does John refer by ‘Gödel’?
(A) the person who really discovered the incompleteness of arithmetic?
Most East Asians chose A
(B) the person who got hold of the manuscript and claimed credit for the work?
Most Westerners chose B
1. Deference to philosophy:
“We should instead [of conducting surveys among untrained people] expect that the relevant experts in the field of philosophical semantics will be better placed to give answers which focus on the right features of the cases and what they are supposed to be responding to… What is called for is the development of a discipline in which general expertise in the conduct of thought experiments is inculcated and in which expertise in different fields of conceptual inquiry is developed and refined. There is such a discipline. It is called philosophy.” (Kirk Ludwig)
What are intuitions?
Judgments held independently of justification.
A. Their training and expertise make them more sensitive to semantic facts (physician analogy).
B. Devitt: The theories underlying experts’ intuitions are better.
Deference to philosophers’ raw intuitions is unjustified.
Kripke’s arguments for Gödel reference
Theoretical considerations can only work relative to a framework that constrains ascriptions of reference (relative, e.g., to some semantic intuitions or a scheme thereof).
Without knowing how the concept of reference is ever applied, no pure a priori reflection on the concept of reference or of any representation (as if it contained information about its own intentional function) would tell us what the object of any representation is – some friction is required.
theoretical considerations cannot settle issues of reference,
(2) deference to experts’ raw intuitions is unjustified,
(3) universality of intuitions is undermined,
Armchair philosophical semantics is in trouble
So X-Phi is significant:
It examines whether (3) is true and thus whether armchair philosophy is indeed in trouble
If indeed (3) is proven true (as it is), then X-Phi’s specific findings suggest the only viable alternative to theorizing about reference [if indeed ascriptions of reference have truth conditions]
But the X-Phi Puzzle looms: How can raw intuitions matter to reference? TBC
Claim : Asians use names descriptively; Westerners use them causally.
BUT different theories of reference need not differ in prediction with respect to linguistic use
The[G/S] issue: what’s the reference given the use.
- CSD =/= divergence of (1st order) linguistic use
The experiments don’t reveal the reference forthe groups (that they differ in reference); it’s reference according tothe groups (their practice of ascriptions)
Theoretical considerations don’t settle no test for intuitions their evidential value is in doubt: Which of them (if any) should we trust?
Intentional (semantic) irrealismtrivially resolves the puzzle.Intentional irrealism– qua constitutivity of practice of ascriptions [G or S – practice-dependent.. Coherence… ].If intuitions constitute reference, they trivially matter to it.But adopting Intentional realism is priecy.