Christopher Gauker, "Words without Meaning"
2003 | pages: 312 | ISBN: 0262072424, 0262571625 | PDF | 1,7 mb
According to the received view of linguistic communication, the primary function of language is to enable speakers to reveal the propositional contents of their thoughts to hearers. Speakers are able to do this because they share with their hearers an underst&ing of the meanings of words. Christopher Gauker rejects this conception of language, arguing that it rests on an untenable conception of mental representation & yields a wrong account of the norms of discourse.Gauker's alternative starts with the observation that conversations have goals & that the best way to achieve the goal of a conversation depends on the circumstances under which the conversation takes place. These goals & circumstances determine a context of utterance quite apart from the attitudes of the interlocutors. The fundamental norms of discourse are formulated in terms of the conditions under which sentences are assertible in such contexts. contains original solutions to a wide array of outst&ing problems in the philosophy of language, including the logic of quantification, the logic of conditionals, the semantic paradoxes, the nature of presupposition & implicature, & the nature & attribution of beliefs.