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The Practical TurnPragmatism in Britain in the Long Twentieth Century$
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Cheryl Misak and Huw Price

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266168

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266168.001.0001

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Pragmatism: All or Some or All and Some?

Pragmatism: All or Some or All and Some?

(p.61) 5 Pragmatism: All or Some or All and Some?1
The Practical Turn

Simon Blackburn

British Academy

This chapter explores what is at stake in debates about expressivism and pragmatism. The background is that deflationism about truth and other semantic terms makes it difficult to make sense of old oppositions between realism on the one hand and expressivism or pragmatism on the other. The chapter sees the issue in terms of a desire for naturalistic explanation, or ‘perspicuous representation’ of what we are doing with various parts of discourse and how different elements in discourse contribute variously to its structure. Drawing on work by Jonathan Bennett and Donald Davidson, it sketches an approach to understanding the arrival of fully-fledged linguistic capacities, in terms of the practices and doings that they make possible.

Keywords:   expressivism, pragmatism, deflationism, reference, truth, metaphysics, semantics, meta-semantics

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