Those aspects of language use that are crucial to an understanding of language as a system, and especially to an understanding of meaning, are the acknowledged concern of linguistic pragmatics. Yet until now much of the work in this field has not been easily accessible to the student, and was often written at an intimidating level of technicality. In this textbook, however, Dr Levinson has provided a lucid and integrative analysis of the central topics in pragmatics - deixis, (...) implicature, presupposition, speech acts, and conversational structure. A central concern of the book is the relation between pragmatics and semantics, and Dr Levinson shows clearly how a pragmatic approach can resolve some of the problems semantics have been confronting and simplifying semantic analyses. The complexity of these issues is not disguised, but the exposition is always clear and supported by helpful exemplification. The detailed analyses of selected topics give the student a clear view of the empirical rigour demanded by the study of linguistic pragmatics, but Dr Levinson never loses sight of the rich diversity of the subject. An introduction and conclusion relate pragmatics to other fields in linguistics and other disciplines concerned with language usage - psychology, philosophy, anthropology and literature. Many students in these disciplines, as well as students of linguistics, will find this a valuable textbook. (shrink)
The issue of the ordering of the ten trichotomies is one among the many questions still open regarding Peirce’s extended theory of signs. A proper decision regarding the order of the ten trichotomies demands a discussion of the entire semiotic process. The aim of this paper is to discuss the order of the trichotomies related to the mode of being of the immediate and dynamical objects. Therefore, it addresses only one part of this process, which concerns the relationship between the (...) sign and its objects. When subdividing the object, Peirce begins to consider the immediate and the dynamic objects as trichotomies, that is, aspects to be considered in the definition of the classes of signs. The introduction of these two trichotomies brings in a problem: how to order them in the system of ten trichotomies. Diverging opinions regarding this ordering are found in Peirce’s texts, and in his commentators. We will investigate this problem by seeking a sort of pragmatic clarification of the matter, presenting a reflection about the philosophical and semiotic consequences of the different proposals for the ordering of these trichotomies. Placing the dynamic object after the sign may even help to explain the functioning of fictional signs, but is this coherent with Peirce’s philosophy? On the other hand, would it be possible to talk about lying signs if every object was determined by its own sign? (shrink)
Inspired by the early Wittgenstein’s concept of nonsense (meaning that which lies beyond the limits of language), we define two different, yet complementary, types of nonsense: formal nonsense and pragmatic nonsense. The simpler notion of formal nonsense is initially defined within Tarski’s semantic theory of truth; the notion of pragmatic nonsense, by its turn, is formulated within the context of the theory of pragmatic truth, also known as quasi-truth, as formalized by da Costa and his collaborators. While an expression will (...) be considered formally nonsensical if the formal criteria required for the assignment of any truth-value (whether true, false, pragmatically true, or pragmatically false) to such sentence are not met, a (well-formed) formula will be considered pragmatically nonsensical if the pragmatic criteria (inscribed within the context of scientific practice) required for the assignment of any truth-value to such sentence are not met. Thus, in the context of the theory of pragmatic truth, any (well-formed) formula of a formal language interpreted on a simple pragmatic structure will be considered pragmatically nonsensical if the set of primary sentences of such structure is not well-built, that is, if it does not include the relevant observational data and/or theoretical results, or if it does include sentences that are inconsistent with such data. (shrink)
I present a challenge to epistemological pragmatic encroachment theories from epistemic injustice. The challenge invokes the idea that a knowing subject may be wronged by being regarded as lacking knowledge due to social identity prejudices. However, in an important class of such cases, pragmatic encroachers appear to be committed to the view that the subject does not know. Hence, pragmatic encroachment theories appear to be incapable of accounting for an important type of injustice – namely, discriminatory epistemic injustice. Consequently, pragmatic (...) encroachment theories run the risk of obscuring or even sanctioning epistemically unjust judgments that arise due to problematic social stereotypes or unjust folk epistemological biases. In contrast, the epistemological view that rejects pragmatic encroachment – namely, strict purist invariantism – is capable of straightforwardly diagnosing the cases of discriminatory epistemic injustice as such. While the challenge is not a conclusive one, it calls for a response. Moreover, it illuminates very different conceptions of epistemology’s role in mitigating epistemic injustice. (shrink)
Pragmatic-Psychoanalytic Interpretations of Amos Oz's Writings: Words Significantly Uttered presents intermediate links between three intellectual domains: the literary works of Amos Oz, American Pragmatism, and object-relations psychoanalysis.
If knowledge is sensitive to practical stakes, then whether one knows depends in part on the practical costs of being wrong. When considering religious belief, the practical costs of being wrong about theism may differ dramatically between the theist (if there is no God) and the atheist (if there is a God). This paper explores the prospects, on pragmatic encroachment, for knowledge of theism (even if true) and of atheism (even if true), given two types of practical costs: namely, by (...) holding a false belief, or by missing out on a true belief. These considerations set up a more general puzzle of epistemic preference when faced with the choice between two beliefs, only one of which could become knowledge. (shrink)
Pragmatic encroachment theories of knowledge may be characterized as views according to which practical factors may partly determine the truth-value of ascriptions that S knows that p – even though these factors do not partly determine S’s belief that p or p itself. The pros and cons of variations of pragmatic encroachment are widely discussed in epistemology. But despite a long pragmatist tradition in the philosophy of science, few efforts have been devoted to relate this particular view to issues in (...) philosophy of science. Consequently, a central aim of the present paper is to consider how the contemporary debates over pragmatic encroachment connect to philosophy of science. More specifically, I will set forth some arguments against the idea of pragmatic encroachment on scientific knowledge. Moreover, I will argue that it is not plausible to respond to these arguments by embedding pragmatic encroachment in the anti-realist framework of constructive empiricism. So, I conclude that there are good reasons to reject pragmatic encroachment theories of scientific knowledge. (shrink)
Critical Pragmatics develops three ideas: language is a way of doing things with words; meanings of phrases and contents of utterances derive ultimately from human intentions; and language combines with other factors to allow humans to achieve communicative goals. In this book, Kepa Korta and John Perry explain why critical pragmatics provides a coherent picture of how parts of language study fit together within the broader picture of human thought and action. They focus on issues about singular reference, (...) that is, talk about particular things, places or people, which have played a central role in the philosophy of language for more than a century. They argue that attention to the 'reflexive' or 'utterance-bound' contents of utterances sheds new light on these old problems. Their important study proposes a new approach to pragmatics and should be of wide interest to philosophers of language and linguists. (shrink)
Although fallacies have been common since Aristotle, until recently little attention has been devoted to identifying and defining them. Furthermore, the concept of fallacy itself has lacked a sufficiently clear meaning to make it a useful tool for evaluating arguments. Douglas Walton takes a new analytical look at the concept of fallacy and presents an up-to-date analysis of its usefulness for argumentation studies. Walton uses case studies illustrating familiar arguments and tricky deceptions in everyday conversation where the charge of fallaciousness (...) is at issue. The numerous case studies show in concrete terms many practical aspects of how to use textual evidence to identify and analyze fallacies and to evaluate arguments as fallacious. Walton looks at how an argument is used in the context of conversation. He defines a fallacy as a conversational move, or sequence of moves, that is supposed to be an argument that contributes to the purpose of the conversation but in reality interferes with it. The view is a pragmatic one, based on the assumption that when people argue, they do so in a context of dialogue, a conventionalized normative framework that is goal-directed. Such a contextual framework is shown to be crucial in determining whether an argument has been used correctly. Walton also shows how examples of fallacies given in the logic textbooks characteristically turn out to be variants of reasonable, even if defeasible or questionable arguments, based on presumptive reasoning. This is the essence of the evaluation problem. A key thesis of the book, which must not be taken for granted as previous textbooks have so often done, is that you can spot a fallacy from how it was used in a context of dialogue. This is an innovative and even, as Walton notes, "a radical and controversial" theory of fallacy. (shrink)
One common attitude toward abstract objects is a kind of platonism: a view on which those objects are mind-independent and causally inert. But there's an epistemological problem here: given any naturalistically respectable understanding of how our minds work, we can't be in any sort of contact with mind-independent, causally inert objects. So platonists, in order to avoid skepticism, tend to endorse epistemological theories on which knowledge is easy, in the sense that it requires no such contact—appeals to Boghossian’s notion of (...) epistemic analyticity are particularly common here, as are appeals to some broadly pragmatic account of the good standing of basic beliefs. I argue, though, that these appeals are hopeless: an argument adapted from the Benacerraf–Field challenge shows that, even if some such theory can deliver the verdict that our beliefs about abstract objects have some prima facie good standing, this good standing will inevitably be defeated. (shrink)
Intercultural Pragmatics studies how language systems are used in social encounters between speakers who have different first languages and cultures, yet communicate in a common language. The field first emerged in the early 21st century, joining two seemingly antagonistic approaches to pragmatics research: the cognitive-philosophical approach, which considers intention as an a priori mental state of the speaker, and the sociocultural-interactional approach, which considers it as a post factum construct created by both speaker and hearer though conversation. Istvan (...) Kecskes, an early proponent of intercultural pragmatics, was among the first to propose merging the two to form the socio-cognitive approach now core to the field. In Intercultural Pragmatics, the first book on the subject, Kecskes establishes the foundations of the field, boldly combining the pragmatic view of cooperation with the cognitive view of egocentrism in order to incorporate emerging features of communication. He argues that people cooperate by generating and formulating intention that is relevant to the given actual situational context. At the same time, however, because of their egocentrism they activate the most salient information to their attention in the construction and comprehension of utterances. Within this approach, interlocutors are considered as social beings searching for meaning with individual minds embedded in a socio-cultural collectivity, and intention is a cooperation-directed practice that is governed by relevance which depends on actual situational experience.Intercultural pragmatics is a rapidly-growing field, and the only subfield of pragmatics to incorporate features of intercultural interaction into mainstream pragmatics. This volume offers both a valuable synthesis of current research and a new way to think about pragmatics. (shrink)
I argue that the offense generation pattern of slurring terms parallels that of impoliteness behaviors, and is best explained by appeal to similar purely pragmatic mechanisms. In choosing to use a slurring term rather than its neutral counterpart, the speaker signals that she endorses the term. Such an endorsement warrants offense, and consequently slurs generate offense whenever a speaker's use demonstrates a contrastive preference for the slurring term. Since this explanation comes at low theoretical cost and imposes few constraints on (...) an account of the semantics of slurs, this suggests that we should not require semantic accounts to provide an independent explanation of the offense profile. (shrink)
The relation between knowledge and action has been a lengthy debate in philosophy which traces back to Descartes and Locke. Purism holds that the practical factors related to action are fundamentally independent of the standard of knowledge, while pragmatic encroachment argues that practical considerations about action can impact judgments about knowledge. This traditional debate was put front and center recently by discussions on some knowledge attribution cases and relevant empirical studies. This paper reports three empirical studies based on three pairs (...) of classic knowledge attribution cases on Chinese participants. The results indicate that folk's understanding of knowledge is more compatible with purism and suggest a conversational implicature account of the connection between judgments about knowledge and action. (shrink)
Researchers have converged on the idea that a pragmatic understanding of communication can shed important light on the evolution of language. Accordingly, animal communication scientists have been keen to adopt insights from pragmatics research. Some authors couple their appeal to pragmatic aspects of communication with the claim that there are fundamental asymmetries between signalers and receivers in non-human animals. For example, in the case of primate vocal calls, signalers are said to produce signals unintentionally and mindlessly, whereas receivers are (...) thought to engage in contextual interpretation to derive the significance of signals. We argue that claims about signaler-receiver asymmetries are often confused. This is partly because their authors conflate two conceptions of pragmatics, which generate different accounts of the explanatory target for accounts of the evolution of language. Here we distinguish these conceptions, in order to help specify more precisely the proper explanatory target for language evolution research. (shrink)
This collection of contributions from both linguists and lawyers brings a pragmatic perspective to the linguistic basis for legal meaning and for finding a norm by which to decide a case. That is, it turns from notions of linguistic meaning as residing in the text, as literal meaning waiting to be dug out, to focus instead on how readers infer pragmatic meaning, and on the kinds of inferencing that characterise legal discourse.
The first truly multidisciplinary text of its kind, this book offers an original analysis of the current state of linguistic pragmatics. Cummings argues that no study of pragmatics can reasonably neglect the historical and contemporary influences on this.
Traditional theistic arguments conclude that God exists. Pragmatic theistic arguments, by contrast, conclude that you ought to believe in God. The two most famous pragmatic theistic arguments are put forth by Blaise Pascal (1662) and William James (1896). Pragmatic arguments for theism can be summarized as follows: believing in God has significant benefits, and these benefits aren’t available for the unbeliever. Thus, you should believe in, or ‘wager on’, God. This article distinguishes between various kinds of theistic wagers, including finite (...) vs. infinite wagers, premortem vs. postmortem wagers, and doxastic vs. acceptance wagers. Then, we’ll turn to the epistemic-pragmatic distinction, and discusses the nuances of James’ argument, and how views like epistemic permissivism and epistemic consequentialism provide unique “hybrid” wagers. Finally, we’ll cover outstanding objections and responses. (shrink)
This reply focusses on three aspects: advantages and disadvantages of our proposed ‘cooperative entry certificates’ for the countries of origin, for the migrants, and for the host countries. It analyzes in what respects our proposal can be improved based on the valuable points made by the commentators. In addition, the question of how to deal with winners and losers within the three groups is discussed.
A pragmatic approach to business ethics is argued for in this volume, which demonstrates the usefulness of the approach by applying it to a variety of issues. These issues are broad and far-reaching and include the relations between rational and moral//ethical decision-making, the limits of loyalty to employers, the impact of trust on business and the role of commercial public opinion polling during elections. The author also covers advertising, tobacco promotion, manufacture and marketing of armaments, concentration and taxation of wealth, (...) and the North American Free Trade Agreement. (shrink)
On an intellectualist approach to belief, the intellectual endorsement of a proposition (such as “The working poor deserve as much respect as the handsomely paid”) is sufficient or nearly sufficient for believing it. On a pragmatic approach to belief, intellectual endorsement is not enough. Belief is behaviorally demanding. To really, fully believe, you must also “walk the walk.” This chapter argues that the pragmatic approach is preferable on pragmatic grounds: It rightly directs our attention to what matters most in thinking (...) about belief. (shrink)
Pragmatic Encroachment, Religious Belief and Practice engages several recent and important discussions in the mainstream epistemological literature surrounding 'pragmatic encroachment'. It has been argued that what is at stake for a person in regards to acting as if a proposition is true can raise the levels of epistemic support required to know that proposition. Do the high stakes involved in accepting or rejecting religious beliefs raise the standards for knowledge that 'God exists', 'Jesus rose from the dead' and other propositions? (...) Professor Rizzieri also examines whether or not knowledge and justification norms of belief and action undermine the pragmatic grounds for religious belief suggested by William James. Rizzieri argues that such norms favor an attitude of hope, as opposed to belief, under conditions of uncertainty. Finally, Rizzieri argues the connections between knowledge and rational action undermine radically externalist accounts of religious knowledge and proposes an alternative account of the justification of religious beliefs. (shrink)
Pragmatic encroachers argue that whether you know that p depends on a combination of pragmatic and epistemic factors. Most defenses of pragmatic encroachment focus on a particular pragmatic factor: how much is at stake for an individual. This raises a question: are there reasons for thinking that knowledge depends on other pragmatic factors that parallel the reasons for thinking that knowledge depends on the stakes? In this paper I argue that there are parallel reasons for thinking that knowledge depends on (...) social factors such as one’s social role or identity. I call this social encroachment. After defending social encroachment, I compare and contrast social encroachment with some key ideas in feminist epistemology. I argue that, while there are some important similarities, there are also some important differences. I finish by commenting on what I take the upshots of these differences to be. (shrink)
Followers of Wittgenstein allegedly once held that a meaningful claim to know that p could only be made if there was some doubt about the truth of p. The correct response to this thesis involved appealing to the distinction between the semantic content of a sentence and features attaching to its use. It is inappropriate to assert a knowledge-claim unless someone in the audience has doubt about what the speaker claims to know. But this fact has nothing to do with (...) the semantic content of knowledgeascriptions; it is entirely explicable by appeal to pragmatic facts about felicitous assertion. (shrink)
For the Intentionalist, utterance content is wholly determined by a speaker’s meaning-intentions; the sentence uttered serves merely to facilitate the audience’s recovering these intentions. We argue that Intentionalists ought to be Particularists, holding that the only “principles” of meaning recovery needed are those governing inferences to the best explanation; “principles” that are both defeasible and, in a sense to be elaborated, variable. We discuss some ways in which some theorists have erred in trying to tame the “wild west” of (...) class='Hi'>pragmatics and context-sensitivity -- including recent work that makes essential appeal to the information structure of a discourse -- and in so doing, offer a general recipe for defending the Particularist picture of utterance content and its recovery that we favor. (shrink)
_Thoughts and Utterances_ is the first sustained investigation of two distinctions which are fundamental to all theories of utterance understanding: the semantics/pragmatics distinction and the distinction between what is explicitly communicated and what is implicitly communicated.
Take pragmatic encroachment to be the view that whether one knows that p is determined at least in part by the practical consequences surrounding the truth of p. This view represents a significant departure from the purist orthodoxy, which holds that only truth-relevant factors determine whether one knows. In this chapter I consider some consequences of accepting pragmatic encroachment when applied to problems of political knowledge and political ignorance: first, that there will be cases in which it will not be (...) practically rational to acquire political knowledge when the stakes surrounding one’s political actions are high; second, that political knowledge can be more easily acquired when one values the welfare of others less; and third, that pragmatic encroachment may fail to account for a form of epistemic injustice when it comes to evaluating the political knowledge of members of marginalized groups. I argue that while these consequences are undesirable, the extent to which the pragmatic encroacher is committed to them depends both on the details of the theory, as well as the extent to which one considers political knowledge to be important. (shrink)
Polysemy, understood as instances of a single linguistic expression having multiple related senses, is not a homogenous phenomenon. There are regular (apparently, rule‐based) cases and irregular (resemblance‐based) cases, which have different processing profiles. Although a primary source of polysemy is pragmatic inference, at least some cases become conventionalised and linguistically encoded. Three main issues are discussed: (a) the key differences between regular and irregular cases and the role, if any, of a “core meaning”; (b) the distinction between pragmatic polysemy and (...) semantic polysemy; and (c) the role of syntactic meaning in both generating and constraining polysemy. (shrink)
Cognitive science is experiencing a pragmatic turn away from the traditional representation-centered framework toward a view that focuses on understanding cognition as "enactive." This enactive view holds that cognition does not produce models of the world but rather subserves action as it is grounded in sensorimotor skills. In this volume, experts from cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, robotics, and philosophy of mind assess the foundations and implications of a novel action-oriented view of cognition. Their contributions and supporting experimental evidence show that (...) an enactive approach to cognitive science enables strong conceptual advances, and the chapters explore key concepts for this new model of cognition. The contributors discuss the implications of an enactive approach for cognitive development; action-oriented models of cognitive processing; action-oriented understandings of consciousness and experience; and the accompanying paradigm shifts in the fields of philosophy, brain science, robotics, and psychology. ContributorsMoshe Bar, Lawrence W. Barsalov, Olaf Blanke, Jeannette Bohg, Martin V. Butz, Peter F. Dominey, Andreas K. Engel, Judith M. Ford, Karl J. Friston, Chris D. Frith, Shaun Gallagher, Antonia Hamilton, Tobias Heed, Cecilia Heyes, Elisabeth Hill, Matej Hoffmann, Jakob Hohwy, Bernhard Hommel, Atsushi Iriki, Pierre Jacob, Henrik Jörntell, Jürgen Jost, James Kilner, Günther Knoblich, Peter König, Danica Kragic, Miriam Kyselo, Alexander Maye, Marek McGann, Richard Menary, Thomas Metzinger, Ezequiel Morsella, Saskia Nagel, Kevin J. O'Regan, Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, Giovanni Pezzulo, Tony J. Prescott, Wolfgang Prinz, Friedemann Pulvermüller, Robert Rupert, Marti Sanchez-Fibla, Andrew Schwartz, Anil K. Seth, Vicky Southgate, Antonella Tramacere, John K. Tsotsos, Paul F. M. J. Verschure, Gabriella Vigliocco, Gottfried Vosgerau. (shrink)
Does knowledge depend in any interesting way on our practical interests? This is the central question in the pragmatic encroachment debate. Pragmatists defend the affirmative answer to this question while purists defend the negative answer. The literature contains two kinds of arguments for pragmatism: principle-based arguments and case-based arguments. Principle-based arguments derive pragmatism from principles that connect knowledge to practical interests. Case-based arguments rely on intuitions about cases that differ with respect to practical interests. I argue that there are insurmountable (...) problems for both kinds of arguments, and that it is therefore unclear what motivates pragmatism. (shrink)
Richard J. Bernstein argues that many of the important themes in philosophy during the past 150 years are variations and developments of ideas that were prominent in the classical American pragmatists: Charles S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and George H. Mead. The pragmatic thinkers reject a sharp dichotomy between subject and object, mind-body dualism, the quest for certainty, and the spectator theory of knowledge. They seek to bring about a sea change in philosophy that highlights the social character of (...) human experience and normative social practices, the self-correcting nature of all inquiry, and the continuity of theory and practice. And they - especially James, Dewey, and Mead - emphasize the democratic ethical-political consequences of a pragmatic orientation. Many of the themes developed by the pragmatic thinkers were central to the work of major twentieth-century philosophers such as Wittgenstein and Heidegger, but the so-called analytic/Continental split obscures this underlying continuity. Bernstein develops an alternative reading of contemporary philosophy that brings out the persistence and continuity of pragmatic themes. He explains why the discussion of pragmatism is alive, varied, and widespread"--Jacket. (shrink)
Evidentialism is the thesis that epistemic justification for belief supervenes on evidential support. However, we claim there are cases in which, even though two subjects have the same evidential support for a proposition, only one of them is justified. What make the difference are pragmatic factors, factors having to do with our cares and concerns. Our argument against evidentialism is not based on intuitions about particular cases. Rather, we aim to provide a theoretical basis for rejecting evidentialism by defending a (...) “pragmatic” necessary condition on epistemic justification. We argue for the following necessary condition for justification: S is justified in believing that p only if S is rational to prefer (and, hence, act) as if p. In light of this necessary condition, the price of evidentialism is skepticism, or something close to it. (shrink)
This chapter addresses concerns that pragmatic encroachers are committed to problematic knowledge variance. It first replies to Charity Anderson and John Hawthorne’s new putative problem cases, which purport to show that pragmatic encroachment is committed to problematic variations in knowledge depending on what choices are available to the potential knower. It argues that the new cases do not provide any new reasons to be concerned about the pragmatic encroacher’s commitment to knowledge-variance. The chapter further argues that concerns about knowledge-variance are (...) not limited to the pragmatic encroacher, but come up for traditional purist invariantism as well. (shrink)
In this paper, I will discuss what I will call “skeptical pragmatic invariantism” as a potential response to the intuitions we have about scenarios such as the so-called bank cases. SPI, very roughly, is a form of epistemic invariantism that says the following: The subject in the bank cases doesn’t know that the bank will be open. The knowledge ascription in the low standards case seems appropriate nevertheless because it has a true implicature. The goal of this paper is to (...) show that SPI is mistaken. In particular, I will show that SPI is incompatible with reasonable assumptions about how we are aware of the presence of implicatures. Such objections are not new, but extant formulations are wanting for reasons I will point out below. One may worry that refuting SPI is not a worthwhile project given that this view is an implausible minority position anyway. To respond, I will argue that, contrary to common opinion, other familiar objections to SPI fail and, thus, that SPI is a promising position to begin with. (shrink)
Kant’s and Hegel’s transcendental argument for mental-content externalism breaks the deadlock between ‘internal’ and genuine realists. This argument shows that human beings can only be self-conscious in a world that provides a humanly recognizable regularity and variety among the things (or events) we sense. This feature of the world cannot result from human thought or language. Hence semantic arguments against realism can only be developed if realism about the world is true. Some of Putnam’s arguments for internal realism are taken (...) as cases in point, and criticized accordingly. Pragmatic realists can use this transcendental argument, because its strong modal claims are consistent with falliblist accounts of justification. (shrink)
The central problem for pragmatics is that sentence meaning vastly underdetermines speaker’s meaning. The goal of pragmatics is to explain how the gap between sentence meaning and speaker’s meaning is bridged. This paper defends the broadly Gricean view that pragmatic interpretation is ultimately an exercise in mind-reading, involving the inferential attribution of intentions. We argue, however, that the interpretation process does not simply consist in applying general mind-reading abilities to a particular (communicative) domain. Rather, it involves a dedicated (...) comprehension module, with its own special principles and mechanisms. We show how such a metacommunicative module might have evolved, and what principles and mechanisms it might contain. (shrink)
Moderate Pragmatic Invariantism has been criticized in the literature for postulating implicatures that are not straightforwardly cancellable. Defenders of MPI have responded that the data are not as clear-cut as one might wish. This paper grants the defenders of MPI, for the sake of argument, that the implicatures in question are cancellable and then turns this admission against them. In particular, the paper offers Bank Case variants in which the conversational implicatures postulated by MPI are contextually suspended – and thus (...) cancelled. Since our intuitions do not vary between the original Bank Case and these novel types of cases, the explanation offered by MPI must be mistaken. Our varying truth-value intuitions in the Bank Cases cannot be accounted for by means of conversational implicatures. (shrink)
Among the readings available for NL sentences, those where two or more sets of entities are independent of one another are particularly challenging from both a theoretical and an empirical point of view. Those readings are termed here as ‘Independent Set (IS) readings'. Standard examples of such readings are the well-known Collective and Cumulative Readings. (Robaldo, 2011) proposes a logical framework that can properly represent the meaning of IS readings in terms of a set-Skolemization of the witness sets. One of (...) the main assumptions of Robaldo's logical framework, drawn from (Schwarzschild, 1996), is that pragmatics plays a crucial role in the identification of such witness sets. Those are firstly identified on pragmatic grounds, then logical clauses are asserted on them in order to trigger the appropriate inferences. In this paper, we present the results of an experimental analysis that appears to confirm Robaldo's hypotheses concerning the pragmatic identification of the witness sets. (shrink)
When asked in 1962 on what he was working Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz replied: Several years ago Polish Scientific Publishers suggested that I pre pare a new edition of The Logical Foundations of Teaching, which I wrote 1 before 1939 as a contribution to The Encyclopaedia of Education. It was a small booklet covering elementary information about logical semantics and scientific methodology, information which in my opinion was necessary as a foundation of teaching and as an element of the education of any (...) teacher. When I recently set to preparing the new edition, I rewrote practically everything, and a booklet of some 100 pages swelled into a bulky volume almost five times bigger. The issues have remained practically the same, but they are now analysed much more thoroughly and the threshold of difficulty is much higher now. The main stress has been laid on the methods used in the empirical sciences, and within that field, on the theory of measurement and the methods of statistical inference. I am now working on the last chapter of the book, concerned with explanation procedures and theory construction in the empirical sciences. When that book, which I intend to entitle Pragmatic Logic, is com pleted I intend to prepare for the press Vol. 2 of my minor writings, 2 Language and Cognition, which will cover some of my post-war pa pers. (shrink)
_Pragmatic Perspectives in Phenomenology_ offers a complex analysis of the pragmatic theses that are present in the works of leading phenomenological authors, including not only Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, as it is often the case within Hubert Dreyfus’ tradition, but also Husserl, Levinas, Scheler, and Patocka. Starting from a critical reassessment of existing pragmatic readings which draw especially on Heidegger’s account of Being-in-the-world, the volume’s chapters explore the following themes as possible justifications for speaking about the pragmatic turn in phenomenology: the (...) primacy of the practical over theoretical understanding, criticism of the representationalist account of perception and consciousness, and the analysis of language and truth within the context of social and cultural practices. Having thus analyzed the pragmatic readings of key phenomenological concepts, the book situates these readings in a larger historical and thematic context and introduces themes that until now have been overlooked in debates, including freedom, alterity, transcendence, normativity, distance, and self-knowledge. This volume seeks to refresh the debate about the phenomenological legacy and its relevance for contemporary thought by enlarging the thematic scope of pragmatic motives in phenomenology in new and revealing ways. It will be of interest to advanced students and scholars of phenomenology who are interested in moving beyond the analytic-continental divide to explore the relationship between practice and theory. (shrink)
This paper argues that pragmatic considerations similar to the ones that Grice has shown pertain to assertability pertain to acceptability. It further shows how this should affect some widely held epistemic principles. The idea of a pragmatics of belief is defended against some seemingly obvious objections.