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Volume 27, 2011

Modernization in Times of Globalization II

Michael Devitt
Pages 196-211
DOI: 10.5840/protosociology20112711

Deference and the Use Theory

It is plausible to think that members of a linguistic community typically mean the same by their words. Yet “ignorance and error” arguments proposed by the revolution in the theory of reference seem to show that people can share a meaning and yet differ greatly in usage. Horwich responds to this problem for UTM by appealing to deference. I give five reasons for doubting that his brief remarks about deference can be developed into a satisfactory theory. But this appeal has an even deeper problem: the appeal is inconsistent with UTM. These problems are not minor ones of details: they strike at the very core of UTM.

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