This chapter assesses the prospects of a pragmatist theory of content. It begins by criticizing the theory presented in D. H. Mellor’s essay ‘Successful Semantics’, then identifies problems and lacunae in the pragmatist theory of meaning sketched in chapter 13 of Dummett’s The Logical Basis of Metaphysics. It contends that the prospects are brighter for a tempered pragmatism, in which the theory of content is permitted to draw upon irreducible notions of truth and falsity. It sketches the shape of such a theory and illustrates the role of its pragmatist elements by showing how they point towards a promising account of the truth conditions of indicative conditionals. A feature of the account is that it validates Modus Ponens whilst invalidating Modus Tollens.
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