Philosophy seminar: Jessica Keiser (Leeds)

This seminar is delivered by Jessica Keiser (School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science).

Title: 'On Meaning Without Use'

I defend metasemantic conventionalism against the problem of meaning without use, which allegedly shows the predictions of conventionalist metasemantic accounts to be indeterminate with respect to unusably long or complex expressions. This criticism is commonly taken to be decisive, prompting various retreats and contributing to the project’s eventual decline. I argue that the possibility of meaning without use poses no threat to the conventionalist metasemantic picture, in that either these expressions do not belong to used languages or their meanings are uniquely determined by convention.