A priori knowledge and two-dimensional semantics

I have always been interested in the nature of meaning, a priority, necessity, and their interrelations.

Most of my work on these topics has focused on a promising semantic theory that explains these concepts and their interrelations. The theory is initially motivated by the idea that to adequately solve Frege’s puzzle, we need a Fregean solution that admits an internally accessible component to meaning, and that to account for externalist intuitions we also require an external component. This line of thinking leads naturally to a form of two-dimensional semantics, which posits that meanings have both an internal component that directly relates to apriority and an external component that directly relates to (metaphysical) necessity.

I have been working on this theory in collaboration with Ed Elliott (ANU) and Clas Weber (UWA). In 2013 we published a defence of epistemic two-dimensional semantics (E2D):

2013. ‘Epistemic Two-Dimensionalism and Arguments from Epistemic Misclassification’, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):375-389 (with Edward Elliott and Clas Weber). (Published version, Preprint)

There have since been at least three critical responses published:

Schroeter, Laura. 2013. Epistemic Two-Dimensionalism and Empirical Presuppositions. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91/2: 391-4.

Speaks, Jeff. 2014. No Easy Argument for Two-Dimensionalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92/4: 775-81.

Stillman, Richard. 2015. Unique Best Deserver Theory and Arguments From Misclassification. Australasian Journal of Philosophy. DOI:10.1080/00048402.2015.1009128

There has also been discussion of our debate with Speaks in:

Chalmers, D.J. 2014. Intensions and Indeterminacy. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):249-269.


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