Article: Henry Jackman, Indeterminacy and Assertion

Henry Jackman, Indeterminacy and Assertion

Presented at the 2000 Meeting of the Society for Exact Philosophy, March 2000

This paper will appeal a recent argument for the indeterminacy of translation to show not that meaning is indeterminate, but rather that assertion cannot be explained in terms of an independent grasp of the concept of truth. In particular, it will argue that if we try to explain assertion in terms of truth rather than vice versa, we ultimately will not be able to make sense of the difference between assertion and denial. This problem with such 'semantic' accounts of assertion then illustrates why we need not worry about the purported argument for indeterminacy.