David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (4):535-555 (2009)
According to Normativism, linguistic meaning is intrinsically normative (I shall explore what this amounts to below). One, though not the only, reason for Normativism’s importance is that it bears on the prospects of providing an account of meaning in the terms available to the natural sciences. In turn, since linguistic behaviour is inextricably bound up with both non linguistic behaviour and the psychological attitudes informing it, Normativism might (if true) pose a serious challenge to the project of accommodating creatures such as ourselves within the worldview the natural sciences afford. In this paper, I shall not focus on such heady themes but rather on the prior issue of whether or not one should accept Normativism. Though certainly in circulation beforehand, it is fair to say that Saul Kripke’s (1982) was largely responsible for bringing the thesis to the philosophical forefront.1 In the years following its publication, Normativism looked close to achieving the status of orthodoxy. At one stage, Crispin Wright felt able to remark assuredly that the view ‘strike[s] most people now as a harmless platitude’ (1993: 247).2 In recent years.
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