Horwich on Natural and Non-Natural Meaning

Acta Analytica 29 (2):229-253 (2014)
Authors
Steffen Borge
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Abstract
Paul Horwich’s Use Theory of Meaning (UTM) depends on his rejection of Paul Grice’s distinction between natural and non-natural meaning and his Univocality of Meaning Thesis, as he wishes to deflate the meaning-relation to usage. Horwich’s programme of deflating the meaning-relation (i.e. how words, sentences, etc., acquire meaning) to some basic regularity of usage cannot be carried through if the meaning-relation depends on the minds of users. Here, I first give a somewhat detailed account of the distinction between natural and non-natural meaning in order to set the stage for Horwich’s critique of it. I then present Horwich’s critique of the distinction and show how that rejection accords with his overall view of meaning as use. Horwich’s rejection of the distinction between natural and non-natural meaning, I argue in the last section, is ill founded, and because UTM depends on this rejection, UTM is stillborn
Keywords Paul Horwich  Use theory of meaning  Univocality of meaning thesis  Paul Grice  Natural meaning  Non-natural meaning
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-013-0196-2
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Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Testimony: A Philosophical Study.C. A. J. Coady - 1992 - Oxford University Press.
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