Evaluative and Metalinguistic Dispute

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (1):165-181 (2023)
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Abstract

ABSTRACT Recently, the hypothesis that purely evaluative disputes are metalinguistic negotiations has gained traction. I resist a strong version of that hypothesis, and argue that some of those disputes are not metalinguistic negotiations. To defend that claim, I argue that metalinguistic negotiations have three linguistic properties that some purely evaluative disputes lack. First, in a metalinguistic negotiation it is felicitous to embed the dispute-initial statement under the subjective attitude verb consider; second, a speaker can reply to that initial statement by using a metalinguistic comparative; and, third, such negotiations address metalinguistic questions under discussion. Some purely evaluative disputes lack these properties, which suggests that they are not metalinguistic negotiations.

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Andres Ruiz
Ohio University