Friday, August 25, 2006

 

The Taming of the True....

I'm very pleased to have made it through my first summer of blogging without, like so many of the blogs I read, going on hiatus or anything like that - posting has been a little sporadic, but I feel I've managed to keep the momentum going ok. Given this, you may be wondering (and let's face it, who isn't?) what's happened to posting since I got back to Austin.

The truth is I'm starting to read quite seriously on the topic of Dummett's critique of the realist's picture of what understanding a declarative sentence consists in. It's always been one of the philosophical flames I get drawn moth-like towards, but there's big gaps in my knowledge of the literature that I'm trying to fill just now. In particular, I'm currently reading Crispin Wright's Realism, Meaning and Truth. It's kind of simultaneously thrilling and depressing. It's thrilling because so many philosophers today take this to be a dead issue, whereas Crispin's sense that these are live, fascinating, central issues is tangible. On the other hand, it's also evident that the kind of command of these issues required to really make anything of a contribution will be very hard-won; it's hard not to be impressed with the altitude this debate has been conducted at over the last 40-50 years, and not just a little daunting. Hence the lack of posts - I really have a lot to learn about this stuff before I have anything of my own to say that might potentially be of interest to others.

Enough biography though. Real content as soon as I'm feeling up to it.

Ps. Apologies to Neil Tennant for stealing his great title for this post - my copy of the book just arrived yesterday, and it seemed too fitting to resist.

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Comments:
Aidan, congrats on keeping up the posting over the summer, thanks for the great comments over in our neck of the blogosphere, and good luck with the anti-realism. That is one of my fringe interests, but I feel the same as you with respect to how daunting it can be to read. I should really read some more Crispin Wright, but I am too caught up in other stuff these days. So little time!
 
Thanks Colin. I'm sorry I had to drop out of the paraconsistency thread so early - I crossed the Atlantic, moved house, and then inevitably got sucked into other stuff. I continued reading the debate with Greg Restall though, with great interest.
 
You're definitely fueling my bad conscience now, but I guess I deserve it.

I've been struggling with Tennant's books for a couple months now, trying to make sense of his notion of harmony. Let me know what you think about it, especially the part pertaining to so-called epistemic gain.

Will you be around in St Andrews later this summer?
 
Hey Ole,

For the moment, I'm just going through chapter 6, since that's the part which bears most directly on this paper I'm working on.

I'll be in Scotland earlier this summer; in fact, I arrive a week today. I'm not sure when I'll be in St Andrews. Around the vagueness conference and graduation time are probably good bets.
 
Sounds good. Looking forward to meeting you then.
 
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