Simon Blackburn (Cambridge): Semantic minimalism and meta-semantic theories
It is many years since truth, facts, reference and representation lost their gloss as signposting us towards, or away from, metaphysics. Deflationism in the theory of truth, for instance, seems to imply that you cannot mark out territory by contrasting what you might want to say about some areas — ethics, modality, conditionals, probabilities — by contrasting commitments in those areas with less fraught commitments about which we happily talk in terms of truth, description, and fact. Some writers see this as a triumph for an across-the-board realism; others suppose that by depriving realist versus anti-realist debate of their subject matter, they close down such debates as old-fashioned, misguided efforts to make more of distinctions of subject matter than can be justified by any means whatsoever. But is that right?
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