•  74
    Robert Brandom claims that the theory of meaning he presents in Making It Explicit is expressively complete—i.e., it successfully applies to the language in which the theory of meaning is formulated. He also endorses a broadly Kripkean approach to the liar paradox. I show that these two commitments are incompatible, and I survey several options for resolving the problem.
  •  30
    On the indeterminacy of the meter
    Synthese 1-31. 2017.
    In the International System of Units, ‘meter’ is defined in terms of seconds and the speed of light, and ‘second’ is defined in terms of properties of cesium 133 atoms. I show that one consequence of these definitions is that: if there is a minimal length, then the chances that ‘meter’ is completely determinate are only 1 in 21,413,747. Moreover, we have good reason to believe that there is a minimal length. Thus, it is highly probable that ‘meter’ is indeterminate. If the meter is indeterminate…Read more
  •  78
    Wilfrid Sellars' Anti-Descriptivism
    In Koskinen (ed.), Categories of Being, . forthcoming.
    The work of Kripke, Putnam, Kaplan, and others initiated a tradition in philosophy that has come to be known as anti-descriptivism. I argue that when properly interpreted, Wilfrid Sellars is a staunch anti-descriptivist. Not only does he accept most of the conclusions drawn by the more famous anti-descriptivists, he goes beyond their critiques to reject the fundamental tenant of descriptivism—that understanding a linguistic expression consists in mentally grasping its meaning and associating t…Read more
  •  14
    Scorekeeping in a defective language game
    Pragmatics and Cognition 13 (1): 203-226. 2005.
    One common criticism of deflationism is that it does not have the resources to explain defective discourse. This problem is especially pressing for someone like Robert Brandom, who not only endorses deflationist accounts of truth, reference, and predication, but also refuses to use representational relations to explain content and propositional attitudes. To address this problem, I suggest that Brandom should explain defective discourse in terms of what it is to treat some portion of discourse a…Read more
  • G. Priest, Doubt truth to be a liar
    Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 13 (4): 541. 2007.
  •  65
    Truth, Revenge, and Internalizability
    Erkenntnis 79 (S3): 597-645. 2014.
    Although there has been a recent swell of interest in theories of truth that attempt solutions to the liar paradox and the other paradoxes affecting our concept of truth, many of these theories have been criticized for generating new paradoxes, called revenge paradoxes. The criticism is that the theories of truth in question are inadequate because they only work for languages lacking in the resources to generate revenge paradoxes. Theorists facing these objections offer a range of replies, and t…Read more
  • REVIEWS-Doubt truth to be a liar
    with G. Priest
    Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 13 (4). 2007.
  •  47
    As part of an approach to the liar paradox and the other paradoxes affecting truth, I have proposed replacing our concept of truth with two concepts: ascending truth and descending truth.1 I am not going to discuss why I think this is the best approach or how it solves the paradoxes; instead, I concentrate on the theory of ascending and descending truth. I formulate an axiomatic theory of ascending truth and descending truth (ADT) and provide a possible-worlds semantics for it (which I dub xen…Read more
  •  91
    Scorekeeping in a Defective Language Game
    Pragmatics and Cognition 13 (1): 203-226. 2005.
    One common criticism of deflationism is that it does not have the resources to explain defective discourse (e.g., vagueness, referential indeterminacy, confusion, etc.). This problem is especially pressing for someone like Robert Brandom, who not only endorses deflationist accounts of truth, reference, and predication, but also refuses to use representational relations to explain content and propositional attitudes. To address this problem, I suggest that Brandom should explain defective disco…Read more
  •  122
    Locke's theory of reflection
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (1). 2008.
    Those concerned with Locke’s Essay have largely ignored his account of reflection. I present and defend an interpretation of Locke’s theory of reflection on which reflection is not a variety of introspection; rather, for Locke, we acquire ideas of our mental operations indirectly. Furthermore, reflection is involuntary and distinct from consciousness. The interpretation I present also explains reflection’s role in the acquisition of non-sensory ideas (e.g., ideas of pleasure, existence, succe…Read more
  •  30
    Tolerance and the Multi‐range View of Vagueness
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2): 467-474. 2015.
  •  57
    Alethic vengeance
    In J. C. Beall (ed.), Revenge of the Liar: New Essays on the Paradox, Oxford University Press. 2007.
    Thinking about truth can be more dangerous than it looks. Of course, our concept of truth is the source of one of the most frustrating and impenetrable paradoxes humans have ever contemplated, the liar paradox, but that is just the beginning of its treachery. In an effort to understand why one of the most beloved and revered members of our conceptual repertoire could cause us so much trouble, philosophers have for centuries proposed “solutions” to the liar paradox. However, it seems that our con…Read more
  •  49
    Shrieking in the face of vengeance
    Analysis 78 (3): 454-463. 2018.
    Paraconsistent dialetheism is the view that some contradictions are true and that the inference rule ex falso quod libet is invalid. A long-standing problem for paraconsistent dialetheism is that it has difficulty making sense of situations where people use locutions like ‘just true’ and ‘just false’. Jc Beall recently advocated a general strategy, which he terms shrieking, for solving this problem and thereby strengthening the case for paraconsistent dialetheism. However, Beall’s strategy fails…Read more
  •  109
    On Richard’s When Truth Gives Out (review)
    Philosophical Studies 160 (3): 455-463. 2012.
    On Richard’s When Truth Gives Out Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9796-0 Authors Kevin Scharp, Department of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 350 University Hall, 230 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA Stewart Shapiro, Department of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 350 University Hall, 230 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116
  •  134
    Truth's saviour?
    Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238): 183-188. 2010.
    Hartry Field’s book, Saving Truth from Paradox, is without question among the best works on truth and the liar paradox in the analytic tradition—it should become the standard reference on the liar paradox for years to come. Field offers lucid, technically accurate, but accessible discussions of most of the approaches to the liar paradox that are currently being debated in the literature. He also defends his favored approach, which requires a change from classical to paracomplete logic. After a b…Read more
  •  69
    Replies to Bacon, Eklund, and Greenough on Replacing Truth
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (4): 422-475. 2019.
    ABSTRACTAndrew Bacon, Matti Eklund, and Patrick Greenough have individually proposed objections to the project in my book, Replacing Truth. Briefly, the book outlines a conceptual engineering project – our defective concept of truth is replaced for certain purposes with a team of concepts that can do some of the jobs we thought truth could do. Here, I respond to their objections and develop the views expressed in Replacing Truth in various ways.
  •  17
    Analytic Pragmatism and Universal LX Vocabulary
    Philosophia 45 (4): 1-25. 2017.
    In his recent John Locke Lectures – published as Between Saying and Doing – Brandom extends and refines his views on the nature of language and philosophy by developing a position that he calls Analytic Pragmatism. Although Brandom’s project bears on an extraordinarily rich array of different philosophical issues, we focus here on the contention that certain vocabularies have a privileged status within our linguistic practices, and that when adequately understood, the practices in which these vo…Read more
  •  63
    Communication and content: Circumstances and consequences of the Habermas-Brandom debate
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (1). 2003.
    The recent exchange between Robert Brandom and Jürgen Habermas provides an opportunity to compare and contrast some aspects of their systems. Both present broadly inferential accounts of meaning, according to which the content of an expression is determined by its role in an inferential network. Several problems confront such theories of meaning - one of which threatens the possibility of communication because content is relative to an individual's set of beliefs. Brandom acknowledges this probl…Read more
  • Doubt truth to be a liar (review)
    Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 13 (4): 541-543. 2007.
  •  20
    Falsity
    In Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), New Waves in Truth, Palgrave-macmillan. 2010.
    Although there is a massive amount of work on truth, there is very little work on falsity. Most philosophers probably think this is appropriate; after all, once we have a solid understanding of truth, falsity should not prove to be much of a challenge. However, there are several interesting and difficult issues associated with understanding falsity. After considering two prominent definitions of falsity and presenting objections to each one, I propose a definition that avoids their problems.
  •  83
    Brandom on Communication
    In Jason Hannon & Robert Rutland (eds.), Philosophical Profiles in the Theory of Communication, Mcgill-queen's University Press. forthcoming.
    This chapter covers some of Robert Brandom’s contributions to our understanding of communication. Topics discussed include his theory of discursive practice, his inferential semantics, his scorekeeping pragmatics, his views on the “transmission” model of communication, and his semantic perspectivism. I compare his scorekeeping pragmatic theory to other kinds of pragmatic theories, and I argue that his semantic perspectivism can be understood as a global indexical relativism.
  •  17
    On the indeterminacy of the meter
    Synthese 196 (6): 2487-2517. 2019.
    In the International System of Units, ‘meter’ is defined in terms of seconds and the speed of light, and ‘second’ is defined in terms of properties of cesium 133 atoms. I show that one consequence of these definitions is that: if there is a minimal length, then the chances that ‘meter’ is completely determinate are only 1 in 21,413,747. Moreover, we have good reason to believe that there is a minimal length. Thus, it is highly probable that ‘meter’ is indeterminate. If the meter is indeterminate…Read more
  •  153
    Truth, the Liar, and Relativism
    Philosophical Review 122 (3): 427-510. 2013.
    This essay proposes a theory of the nature and logic of truth on which truth is an inconsistent concept that should be replaced for certain theoretical purposes. The paradoxes associated with truth (for example, the liar) and the pattern of failures in our attempts to deal with them suggest that truth is an inconsistent concept. The first part of the essay describes a pair of replacement concepts, which the essay dubs ascending truth and descending truth, along with an axiomatic theory of them a…Read more
  •  1508
    Replacing truth
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (6). 2007.
    Of the dozens of purported solutions to the liar paradox published in the past fifty years, the vast majority are "traditional" in the sense that they reject one of the premises or inference rules that are used to derive the paradoxical conclusion. Over the years, however, several philosophers have developed an alternative to the traditional approaches; according to them, our very competence with the concept of truth leads us to accept that the reasoning used to derive the paradox is sound. That…Read more
  •  2
    Replacing Truth
    Oxford University Press UK. 2013.
    Kevin Scharp proposes an original theory of the nature and logic of truth on which truth is an inconsistent concept that should be replaced for certain theoretical purposes. He argues that truth is best understood as an inconsistent concept, and proposes a detailed theory of inconsistent concepts that can be applied to the case of truth. Truth also happens to be a useful concept, but its inconsistency inhibits its utility; as such, it should be replaced with consistent concepts that can do truth…Read more