Month: September 2021

An Expressivist Theory of Taste Predicates

Dilip Ninan

Simple taste predications typically come with an ‘acquaintance requirement’: they normally require the speaker to have had a certain kind of first-hand experience with the object of predication. For example, if I told you that the crème caramel is delicious, you would ordinarily assume that I have actually tasted the crème caramel and am not simply relying on the testimony of others. The present essay argues in favor of a ‘lightweight’ expressivist account of the acquaintance requirement. This account consists of a recursive semantics and a ‘supervaluational’ account of assertion; it is compatible with a number of different accounts of truth and content, including contextualism, relativism, and purer forms of expressivism. The principal argument in favor of this account is that it correctly predicts a wide range of data concerning how the acquaintance requirement interacts with Boolean connectives, generalized quantifiers, epistemic modals, and attitude verbs.