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Talking about Taste: Disagreement, Implicit Arguments and Relative Truth

Abstract : In this paper, I take issue with the claim that the correct semantics for taste predicates must use contents that are functions of a “taste” parameter (in addition to the possible world parameter), and that this parameter cannot be seen as an implicit argument lexically associated with the expression. I will argue that the two “rival” approaches are, from the viewpoint of semantics, pretty much notational variants of one another: given any sentence containing a taste predicate, and given any context, the two accounts predict the same truth value, and are, in that sense, semantically equivalent. I will also look at possible reasons for preferring one account over the other. The phenomenon of “faultless disagreement” is often believed to be one such reason, but I will argue that there is no such thing as faultless disagreement: either the two parties genuinely disagree, hence if one is right the other is wrong, or the two parties are both right, but their apparent disagreement boils down to a misunderstanding. The upshot of my paper, then, is to show that there is not much disagreement between the contextualist account, which models the taste parameter as an implicit argument to the taste predicate, and the relativist account, which models it as a parameter of the circumstance of evaluation. The choice between the two accounts, at least when talking about taste, is thus itself largely a matter of taste.
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Contributor : Isidora Stojanovic <>
Submitted on : Friday, August 24, 2007 - 10:58:37 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 4:16:00 PM


  • HAL Id : ijn_00089096, version 3


Isidora Stojanovic. Talking about Taste: Disagreement, Implicit Arguments and Relative Truth. 2007. ⟨ijn_00089096v3⟩



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