Models as hypostatizations: the case of supervaluationism in semantics
In previous work (‘Fictional Entities, Theoretical Models and Figurative Truth’, in Frigg, R, and Hunter, M. (eds.), Beyond Mimesis and Convention – Representation in Art and Science, Springer, 2010, 139-68), I have defended (mainly for explicit talk and thought about fictional entities, but also about scientific models) what I consider a form of anti-realism for such discourse, a version of Yablo’s “figuralist” brand of fictionalism. In contrast with pretense-theoretic fictionalist proposals, on this view utterances in those discourses are straightforward assertions with straightforward truth-conditions, involving a particular kind of metaphors or figurative manner. In my contribution I’ll explore further what I take to be the virtues of the proposal, by illustrating its application to a particular case, explanations of vagueness-related phenomena in semantics by means of supervaluationist models.