Presuppositions and common ground

Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (5):523-538 (2008)
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This paper presents problems for Stalnaker’s common ground theory of presupposition. Stalnaker (Linguist and Philos 25:701–721, 2002) proposes a 2-stage process of utterance interpretation: presupposed content is added to the common ground prior to acceptance/rejection of the utterance as a whole. But this revision makes presupposition difficult to distinguish from assertion. A more fundamental problem is that the common ground theory rests on a faulty theory of assertion—that the essence of assertion is to present the content of an utterance as new information. Many examples are presented of utterances which are felicitous but not informative in this way.



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Citations of this work

Lying with Uninformative Speech Acts.Grzegorz Gaszczyk - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (7):746-760.
Assertion, Belief, and Context.Roger Clarke - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4951-4977.
Presuppositional fallacies.Fabrizio Macagno - forthcoming - Argumentation:1-32.

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References found in this work

Scorekeeping in a language game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Logic and Conversation.H. P. Grice - 1975 - In Donald Davidson & Gilbert Harman (eds.), The Logic of Grammar. Encino, CA: pp. 64-75.
Common ground.Robert Stalnaker - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (5-6):701-721.
Assertion.Robert Stalnaker - 1978 - Syntax and Semantics (New York Academic Press) 9:315-332.

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