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Talking about Taste: Disagreement, Implicit Arguments and Relative Truth

Abstract : A number of proposals have been recently made that converge towards the idea that the truth value of an utterance, even once its indexicals and other overt context-sensitive elements have been resolved, still depends on more parameters than just a possible world. Expressions whose semantics arguably requires such a relativization include knowledge ascriptions, epistemic modals, future tense, deontic expressions, and predicates of personal taste. My goal in this paper is to take issue with certain arguments meant to establish that the correct semantics for these expressions must use contents that are functions of further things, such as taste standards, in addition to possible worlds, and that the relevant parameter cannot be seen as an implicit argument lexically triggered by the expression. I will focus on predicates of personal taste, and will try to show that the two prima facie rival accounts are pretty much notational variants of one another. In the first half of the paper, I will argue that the account of faultless disagreement should work alike on the two accounts, and that any case of what seems to be faultless disagreement is either an instance of genuine disagreement (hence one of the parties is at fault) or an instance of misunderstanding(the parties believe to be in disagreement, but neither is at fault). In the second half of the paper, I will show that the two semantic frameworks are equivalent: for any given sentence containing a taste predicate, and any given context, the two accounts will predict the same truth value. The upshot of my paper is, then, to show that when properly construed, there is much less disagreement between the implicit argument account and the relativist account than it may seem at a first glance.
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Contributor : Isidora Stojanovic <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, August 9, 2006 - 6:56:19 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 12:33:35 AM


  • HAL Id : ijn_00089096, version 1


Isidora Stojanovic. Talking about Taste: Disagreement, Implicit Arguments and Relative Truth. 2006. ⟨ijn_00089096v1⟩



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