Volume 24, Issue 1, January 2009
Víctor M. Verdejo
Why Rationalist Compositionality Won't Go Away (Either)
Vigorous Fodorian criticism may make it seem impossible for Inferential Role Semantics (IRS) to accommodate compositionality. In this paper, first, I introduce a neo-Fregean version of IRS that appeals centrally to the notion of rationality. Second, I show how such a theory can respect compositionality by means of semantic rules. Third, I argue that, even if we consider top-down compositional derivability: a) the Fodorian is not justified in claiming that it involves so-called reverse compositionality; and b) a defender of IRS can still offer a satisfactory account in terms of the inferential capacities of rational thinkers.