The relationship between semantics and epistemology is a contentious issue.

Fodor argues they should be kept separate, while Rorty argues in PMN that Sellars and Quine independently demonstrated their inseparabiliity.

Labor cannot be divided between theory of content and theory of knowledge / understanding: both crucially depend on inferential relations.

This is tantamount to whether one’s theory of meaning is independent of one’s theory of understanding. For example, Davidson argues that we can only understand meaning in terms of the process of interpreting (attributing meanings). For Dummett, meaning is what can be understood.

Order of explanation

What is the proper order of explanation? 1

  • Should reason-relations (material implication and exclusion) be determined by representational content?
  • Should we understand content functionally, in terms of reason relations?

Related topics


  1. There is a related order-of-explanation dilemma between Semantics and pragmatics.