So, then, the notion of a one-criterion term does nothing to clarify the metaphysics of analyticity. But I think it can perhaps be co-opted for a less ambitious purpose. Because I’m into atomistic informational semantics, I have to tell astory that explains what the object of our soi-disant intuitions of analyticity and intrinsic conceptual connectedness is,and explains why we have such intuitions, without admitting that there are analytic truths or intrinsically connectedconcepts. Since, moreover, the robustness of the intuitions seems undeniable, I want my story to make them intuitionsof something real. Being a one-criterion concept is a godsend for my purpose; it’s my candidate for Factor X. Notice thatsince what I’m aiming for is not an account of the individuation of meanings, but just a diagnosis of some faultyintuitions, telling my story doesn’t presuppose a prior or a principled account of the individuation of criteria. UnlikePutnam, I can make do with what I imagine everyone will grant: that for some concepts there are, de facto, lots of waysof telling that they apply and for other concepts there are, de facto, very few.
Auntie (back again): I’m back again. Tell me just why am I supposed to grant that for some concepts there are lots of ways of telling that they apply and that for others there are very few. Isn’t it rather that if there’s any way at all to tell,there’s sure to be a lot? If I can tell that the dog is at the door by listening for the bell to ring, then I can tell that the dogis at the door by getting Jones to listen for the bell to ring. And if I can tell that the dog is at the door by getting Jonesto listen for the bell to ring, then I can tell that the dog is at the door by getting Jones to ask Smith to listen for the bellto ring . . . And so on. There aren’t, even de facto, any one-criterion terms according to my way of counting.
—: Yes, all right, but not a sympathetic reading. What Putnam must have had in mind, and what I too propose to assume, is that some ways of telling pretty clearly depend on others. It’sthe latter—the pretty clearly /»dependent ones—that you are supposed to count when you decide whether something’sa one-criterion concept, or a cluster concept, or whatever. In your example, one’s own listening for the bell to ring ispretty clearly at the bottom of the heap.
Auntie. Why do you keep saying ‘pretty clearly’ in that irritating way?
—: Because I want to emphasize that the kind of dependence I have in mind isn’t metaphysical, or conceptual, or even nomic, but just epistemic. What rationalizes your asking Jones to ask Smith to listen for the bell is your knowledge thatSmith has ways of telling that don’t depend on his asking Jones to listen for the bell. Compare the sort of contrast casesthat Putnam had in mind: the so-called cluster concepts. You can tell, pretty reliably, whether stuff is water by, forexample, how it looks, how it tastes, where it’s located, its specific heat, its specific gravity, what it says on the bottle,which tap it came from, and so on and on. No doubt, the fact that all these ways of telling work depends on a bundleof metaphysical and nomic necessities; but your employing the tests doesn’t depend on, and isn’t usually rationalizedby, your knowing that this is so; pretty clearly, the various tests for being water are largely epistemically independent.
I agree that this is all quite loose and unprincipled; but, as remarked, it’s not required to bear much weight. All I need it for is to explain away some faulty intuitions. Can I proceed?
Auntie. You may try.
Then here’s my story in a nutshell: suppose you think the only epistemic route from the concept C to the property that it expresses depends on drawing inferences that involve the concept C*.Jean-marc pizano