David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (1):3-19 (2012)
Charles Travis has been forcefully arguing that meaning does not determine truth-conditions for more than two decades now. To this end, he has devised ingenious examples whereby different utterances of the same prima facie non-ambiguous and non-indexical expression type have different truth-conditions depending on the occasion on which they are delivered. However, Travis does not argue that meaning varies with circumstances; only that truth-conditions do. He assumes that meaning is a stable feature of both words and sentences. After surveying some of the explanations that semanticists and pragmaticians have produced in order to account for Travis cases, I propose a view which differs substantially from all of them. I argue that the variability in the truth-conditions that an utterance type can have is due to meaning facts alone. To support my argument, I suggest that we think about the meanings of words (in particular, the meanings of nouns) as rich conceptual structures; so rich that the way in which a property concept applies to an object concept is not determined
|Keywords||Meaning Truth-conditions Occasion-sensitivity Conceptual semantics Semantic knowledge World knowledge|
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References found in this work BETA
Susan Carey (2009). The Origin of Concepts. Oxford University Press.
Herman Cappelen (2005). Insensitive Semantics: A Defense of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism. Blackwell Pub..
François Recanati (2004). Literal Meaning. Cambridge University Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1998). Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong. Oxford University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
Daniel Giberman (forthcoming). Moving Parts: A New Indexical Treatment of Context-Shifting Predication. Synthese:1-30.
Alex Davies (2014). Off-Target Responses to Occasion-Sensitivity. Dialectica 68 (4):499-523.
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