13 de novembro de 2013

Conferência de Teresa Marques: Retractions

Teresa Marques
University of Lisbon

15 de Novembro de 2013, 15:00
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: Retraction and disagreement data have been used against contextualism and in favor of relativism about certain types of claims. Among these figure epistemic modals, knowledge attributions, or value and personal taste claims. On the relativist proposal, sentences like “the ice cream might be in the fridge” or “Pocoyo is funny” only get assigned a truth-value relative to contexts of utterance, indices of evaluation, and contexts of assessment. On assessment relativism, the relevant perspective for the truth of an epistemic might claim, or of a claim of personal taste, is the epistemic evidence, or the standard of taste, of the assessor at the context of assessment. On contextualism (indexical or not) the relevant perspective is the epistemic evidence, or the standard of taste, that is determined at the context of utterance. It is the claim that contextualism cannot handle retraction and disagreement data that requires the admission of contexts of assessment. Assessment-relativism takes retractions to have a special normative role: a retraction is allegedly mandatory in the crucial cases where the contextualist does not obligate any retraction. This talk questions that retractions have such a normative role, and offers an alternative explanation that is compatible with contextualism. The aim is to show that assessment relativism is not a viable semantic alternative. I will first summarize the main objections in the literature against the obligatoriness of retractions in the crucial cases. I will then offer a suggestion for how a contextualist (indexical or not) can explain permissible retractions, without requiring contexts of assessment. If time allows, I'll also try to show that the objections to assessment relativism follow a general pattern of criticism.


Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa
LanCog Group (Language, Mind and Cognition Research Group)

2013-14: Session 5

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