David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Grazer Philosophische Studien 68 (1):81-117 (2005)
This paper aims to demonstrate that it is by no means clear whether the thesis that meaning is intrinsically normative can be justifi ed. Therefore, we should not regard the explanation or the grasp of the normativity of meaning as an adequacy condition of a theory of meaning — as some philosophers do. In the first part of the paper, I distinguish four intuitive kinds of normativity of meaning. After that, I focus on the question what sorts of normativity can be distinguished in general. I discuss the advantages and problems of a common characterization of normativity, adopted by Schnädelbach and von Wright, and I defend a certain modifi ed version of this characterization. In the third part of the paper, I apply this modifi ed characterization to the four kinds of normativity of meaning distinguished earlier, and I show that only one of the four is compatible with the thesis that meaning is an intrinsically normative concept. In the last part of the paper, I focus on the semantic relations between meaning and use, and I reject some common forms of reducing facts about meaning to facts about use.
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