Misleading Appearances: Searle on Assertion and Meaning [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 74 (1):115-129 (2011)
John Searle’s philosophy of language contains a notorious tension between a literalist view on the relationship between sentences and their meanings, and what—at the first glance—appears to be a virulent defence of contextualism. Appearances notwithstanding, Searle’s views on background and meaning are closer to literalism than to contextualism. Searle defines assertion in terms of the commitment to the truth of the propositional content. In absence of an independent criterion to delimit the asserted content, such a definition overgenerates—hence Searle’s commitment to literalism. His position is untenable—and this is the general lesson of the paper—, because sentence meaning cannot be used to determine the asserted content
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References found in this work BETA
John R. Searle (1983). Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind. Cambridge University Press.
John R. Searle (1969). Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge University Press.
R. Carston (2002). Thoughts and Utterances. Blackwell.
D. Sperber & D. Wilson (1995). Relevance. Blackwell.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1969). On Certainty (Ed. Anscombe and von Wright). Harper Torchbooks.
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