Normativity and correctness: A reply to Hattiangadi [Book Review]

Acta Analytica 23 (2):177-186 (2008)
In this paper I will present and evaluate Anandi Hattiangadi’s arguments for the conclusion that meaning is not intrinsically normative or prescriptive. I will argue that she misconstrues the way the thesis that meaning is normative is presented in the literature and that there is an important class of semantic rules that she fails to consider and rule out. According to Hattiangadi, defenders of meaning prescriptivity argue that speaking truthfully is a necessary condition for speaking meaningfully. I will maintain that this is not how prescriptivity is construed by ‘normativists’ such as Kripke, Hacker and Baker, Brandom and Millar. I think that Hattiangadi misconstrues the prescriptivity thesis because she does not distinguish between the general notion of correctness of use and the specific notion of correctness of application. In other words, she does not distinguish between using a term correctly and applying it truthfully. In addition, I submit that there is an important class of semantic rules determining correct use that Hattiangadi does not consider. Following the later Wittgenstein, Hacker and Baker argue that accepted explanations of the meanings of words have the function of semantic rules. These rules are categorically prescriptive because following them is constitutive of being a speaker of a language.
Keywords Normativity of meaning  Correctness of use  Application  Criteria  Language-games
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s12136-008-0028-y
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Anandi Hattiangadi (2006). Is Meaning Normative? Mind and Language 21 (2):220-240.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

101 ( #30,762 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

10 ( #66,646 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.