In recent work on a priori justification, one thing about which there is considerable agreement is that the notion of truth in virtue of meaning is bankrupt and infertile. (For the sake of more readable prose, I will use ‘TVM’ as an abbreviation for ‘the notion of truth in virtue of meaning.’) Arguments against the worth of TVM can be found across the entire spectrum of views on the a priori, in the work of uncompromising rationalists (such as BonJour (1998)), of centrist moderates (such as Boghossian (1997)), and of uncompromising empiricists (such as Devitt (2004)). My aim is to dispute this widespread opinion.
The outline is as follows: first, §§II-III consist of preliminary stage-setting. Then, in §IV I will argue that some of the most prevalent arguments against the worth of TVM — in particular, one which is given clear expression by Quine (1970), and is recently reinforced by Boghossian (1997) — do not engage with the core idea motivating TVM. After deflecting this charge of incoherence, the aim of §§V-VIII is to work toward developing a useful conception of TVM.