Is Literal Meaning Conventional?

Topoi 27 (1-2):101-113 (2008)
This paper argues that the literal meaning of words in a natural language is less conventional than usually assumed. Conventionality is defined in terms that are relative to reasons; norms that are determined by reasons are not conventions. The paper argues that in most cases, the literal meaning of words—as it applies to their definite extension—is not conventional. Conventional variations of meaning are typically present in borderline cases, of what I call the extension-range of literal meaning. Finally, some putative and one or two genuine exceptions are discussed
Keywords Convention  Conventional  Definite extension  Literal meaning  Meaning  Semantics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11245-008-9027-2
 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
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

89 ( #37,303 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #231,316 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.