David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 78 (2):77 - 94 (2004)
It’s been, for some time now, a pet thesis of ours that compositionality is the key constraint on theories of linguistic content. On the one hand, we’re convinced by the usual arguments that the compositionality of natural languages1 explains how L-speakers can understand any of the indefinitely many expressions that belong to L. 2 And, on the other hand, we claim that compositionality excludes all “pragmatist” 3 accounts of content; hence, practically all of the theories of meaning that have been floated by philosophers and cognitive scientists for the last fifty years or so. A number of objections to our claim have been suggested to us, but none that we find persuasive (see, for example, the discussions of the “uniformity principle” and of “reverse compositionality” in Fodor and Lepore 2002). These objections have a common thread: they all grant that mental and linguistic content are compositional but challenge the thesis that compositionality is incompatible with semantic pragmatism. In this paper, we want to consider an objection of a fundamentally different kind, namely, that it doesn’t matter whether compositionality excludes semantic pragmatism because compositionality isn’t true; the content of an expression supervenes not on its linguistic structure4 alone but on its linguistic structure together with the context of its tokening. 5..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Guichun Guo (2010). The Boundaries of Context and Their Significance. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (3):449-460.
Similar books and articles
Philip Robbins (2005). The Myth of Reverse Compositionality. Philosophical Studies 125 (2):251 - 275.
Zoltan Szabo (2010). The Determination of Content. Philosophical Studies 148 (2):253 - 272.
Peter Pagin (2010). Compositionality I: Definitions and Variants. Philosophy Compass 5 (3):250-264.
Zoltán Szabó (2010). The Determination of Content. Philosophical Studies 148 (2):253 - 272.
Peter Pagin & Dag Westerståhl (2010). Pure Quotation and General Compositionality. Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (5):381-415.
Dongho Choi (2008). Inferentialism, compositionality and the thickness of meaning. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39:335-344.
Mark McCullagh (2003). Do Inferential Roles Compose? Dialectica 57 (4):431-38.
Peter Pagin & Westerhal Dag (2010). Compositionality I: Definitions and Variants. Philosophy Compass 5:265-282.
Peter Pagin (2005). Compositionality and Context. In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford University Press. 303-348.
Jerry Fodor & Ernie Lepore (2001). Why Compositionality Won't Go Away: Reflections on Horwich's 'Deflationary' Theory. Ratio 14 (4):350–368.
Jerry A. Fodor & Ernest Lepore (2002). The Compositionality Papers. Oxford University Press.
Daniel Cohnitz (2005). Is Compositionality an a Priori Principle? In M. Wening, E. Machery & G. Schurz (eds.), The Compositionality of Concepts and Meanings: Foundational Issues. Ontos.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads12 ( #141,435 of 1,413,268 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #154,925 of 1,413,268 )
How can I increase my downloads?