The normativity of meaning and content

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2010)
Abstract
There is a long tradition of thinking of language as conventional in its nature, dating back at least to Aristotle De Interpretatione ). By appealing to the role of conventions, it is thought, we can distinguish linguistic signs, the meaningful use of words, from mere natural ‘signs’. During the last century the thesis that language is essentially conventional has played a central role within philosophy of language, and has even been called a platitude (Lewis 1969). More recently, the focus has been less on the conventional nature of language than on the claim that meaning is essentially normative in a wider sense, leaving it open whether the normativity in question should be understood in terms of conventions or not (Kripke 1982).
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Bernhard Nickel (2013). Dynamics, Brandom-Style. Philosophical Studies 162 (2):333-354.
C. S. I. Jenkins (2013). Justification Magnets. Philosophical Studies 164 (1):93-111.
Raymond Turner (2011). Specification. Minds and Machines 21 (2):135-152.
Wayne Christensen (2012). Natural Sources of Normativity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):104-112.
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