David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophia 36 (3):375-388 (2008)
According to inferential role semantics (IRS), for any given expression to possess a particular meaning one must be disposed to make or, alternatively, acknowledge as correct certain inferential transitions involving it. As Williamson points out, pejoratives such as ‘Boche’ seem to provide a counter-example to IRS. Many speakers are neither disposed to use such expressions nor consider it proper to do so. But it does not follow, as IRS appears to entail, that such speakers do not understand pejoratives or that they lack meaning. In this paper, I examine recent responses to this problem by Boghossian and Brandom and argue that their proposed construal of the kind of inferential rules governing a pejorative such as ‘Boche’ is to be ruled out on the grounds that it is non-conservative. I defend the appeal to conservatism in this instance against criticism and, in doing so, propose an alternative approach to pejoratives on behalf of IRS that resolves the problem Williamson poses.
|Keywords||Inferentialism Meaning Conservatism Pejoratives Semantics|
|Categories||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
Luvell Anderson & Ernie Lepore (2013). What Did You Call Me? Slurs as Prohibited Words. Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):350-363.
Similar books and articles
Ted A. Warfield (1993). On a Semantic Argument Against Conceptual Role Semantics. Analysis 53 (4):298-304.
Daniel Whiting (2009). Meaning Holism and De Re Ascription. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):575-599.
Richard Horsey (2000). Meaning Postulates and Deference. Philosophical Explorations.
Jaroslav Peregrin (2006). Meaning as an Inferential Role. Erkenntnis 64 (1):1-35.
Paul A. Boghossian (1994). Inferential-Role Semantics and the Analytic/Synthetic Distinction. Philosophical Studies 73 (2-3):109-122.
Jerry Fodor & Ernie Lepore (1998). The Emptiness of the Lexicon: Critical Reflections on J. Pustejovsky's the Generative Lexicon. Linguistic Inquiry 29:269-288.
Christopher Hom (2010). Pejoratives. Philosophy Compass 5 (2):164-185.
Christopher Hom (2012). A Puzzle About Pejoratives. Philosophical Studies 159 (3):383-405.
Ioannis Votsis (2011). Data Meet Theory: Up Close and Inferentially Personal. Synthese 182 (1):89 - 100.
Daniel Whiting (2008). Meaning Holism and de Re Ascription. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):pp. 575-599.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads49 ( #34,205 of 1,103,037 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #297,567 of 1,103,037 )
How can I increase my downloads?