Metalinguistic Negotiation and Speaker Error

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):142-167 (2021)
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In recent work, we have argued that a number of disputes of interest to philosophers – including some disputes amongst philosophers themselves – are metalinguistic negotiations. Prima facie, many of these disputes seem to concern worldly, non-linguistic issues directly. However, on our view, they in fact concern, in the first instance, normative questions about the use of linguistic expressions. This will strike many ordinary speakers as counterintuitive. In many of the disputes that we analyze as metalinguistic negotiations, speakers might quite strongly resist the idea that their debate is in any sense about language. In this paper, we explore and provide responses to what we take to be the best versions of an objection that our view involves an unacceptable attribution of false beliefs to ordinary speakers.



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Author Profiles

David Plunkett
Dartmouth College
Tim Sundell
University of Kentucky

Citations of this work

The Ethics of Conceptualization: A Needs-Based Approach.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Metalinguistic Proposals.Nat Hansen - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (1-2):1-19.
How to have a metalinguistic dispute.Poppy Mankowitz - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):5603-5622.

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The concept of law.Hla Hart - 1963 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Verbal Disputes.David J. Chalmers - 2011 - Philosophical Review 120 (4):515-566.
The Language of Morals.Richard Mervyn Hare - 1952 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Concept of Law.Hla Hart - 1961 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press UK.

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