Why Rationalist Compositionality Won't Go Away (Either)



Published 01-11-2009
Víctor M. Verdejo


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.

How to Cite

Verdejo, V. M. (2009). Why Rationalist Compositionality Won’t Go Away (Either). THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 24(1), 29–47. https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.382
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inferential Role Semantics, compositionality, rationality, semantic rule, reverse compositionality