Tasting and testing

Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (6):617-653 (2019)
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Our main concern in this paper is the semantics of predicates of personal taste. However, in order to see these predicates in the right perspective, we had to broaden the scope to the wider class of relative gradable adjectives. We present an analysis of the meaning of these adjectives in the framework of update semantics. In this framework the meaning of a sentence is not identified with its truth conditions, but with its impact on people’s intentional states. In this respect, an important characteristic of relative gradable adjectives is the interplay between their evaluative features and people’s expectations. The dynamic set-up also makes it possible to model the interpretation of a relative gradable adjective without supposing that the context always supplies a ‘cut-off’ point determining its application, and to deal in a pragmatic way with situations in which the Sorites paradox arises.



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Author Profiles

Ines Crespo
University of Amsterdam
Frank Veltman
University of Amsterdam

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References found in this work

Critique of the power of judgment.Immanuel Kant - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Paul Guyer.
Vagueness, truth and logic.Kit Fine - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.
Relativism and disagreement.John MacFarlane - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):17-31.

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