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Analyticity, Necessity, and the Epistemology of Semantics by Jerrold J Katz

By Jerrold J Katz

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Indeed, does it even make sense to suppose that terms descriptive of ideas should also be applicable, univocally, to objects supposedly so different in kind from ideas—for instance, that both a visual image and an external object could be ‘square’, in the very same sense of the word? We shall return to some of these issues when we discuss the distinction between primary and secondary qualities (see pp. 53-9 below). For the time being, however, I just want to remark that I do not, in fact, believe that the ‘indirect’ realist is any more vulnerable to the threat of scepticism than is the ‘direct’ realist—a point which I shall explain further in the next section.

Here one might be inclined to ask whether a similar grammatical transformation might not be applied to b. Clearly, as far as idiomatic English is concerned, it cannot. We cannot say something like d. John hatted broadly. But could we not just invent a new verb, ‘to hat’, stipulating that ‘x hatted’ means ‘x wore a hat’? Yes, we could, but it seems clear that this would not serve to show that the original verb of b, ‘wore’, has no genuinely independent semantic import. htm endless (literally). Thus, if the strategy invoked in d were invoked quite generally to ‘eliminate’ all occurrences of the -43- verb ‘to wear’ in English, the task would be an endless (potentially infinite) one.

John gave a broad grin. htm some sort, the surface syntax of a invites us to suppose that it states the existence of a relationship between one thing, John, and another, a ‘grin’, the latter being described by the adjective ‘broad’ as possessing a certain property. Compare b. John wore a broad hat in which case the foregoing sort of relational analysis is perfectly appropriate. Hats are things of a certain sort, which possess certain properties and stand in genuine relationships to other things, such as people.

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