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Volume 21, 2005

Compositionality, Concepts and Representations I

Josep Macià
Pages 129-147

Is Horwich’s Deflationary Account of Meaning an Alternative to Truth-Theoretic Semantics?

In recent writings Paul Horwich has pursued two related aims: (i) To show “how small a constraint is provided by compositionality” (Horwich 1998, chapter 7, p. 183). “The compositionality of meaning imposes no constraint at all on how the meaning properties of words are constituted” (p. 154). (ii) To present a deflationary alternative to the “Davidsonian truth-theoretic perspective” (Horwich 2001) The paper has three sections: in section 1 I make some comments on compositionality, in section 2 I argue that Horwich does not succeed in achieving aim (i), and in section 3 I argue that he does not succeed either in achieving aim (ii).

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