Prospects for an Expressivist Theory of Meaning

Philosophers' Imprint 15:1-43 (2015)
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Abstract

Advocates of Expressivism about basically any kind of language are best-served by abandoning a traditional content-centric approach to semantic theorizing, in favor of an update-centric or dynamic approach (or so this paper argues). The type of dynamic approach developed here — in contrast to the content-centric approach — is argued to yield canonical, if not strictly classical, "explanations" of the core semantic properties of the connectives. (The cases on which I focus most here are negation and disjunction.) I end the paper by describing a distinctive sense in which mental states might play a fundamental role in the practice of semantic theorizing (as I understand it), and I connect this to a distinctive account of the pragmatic function of, e.g., a normatively laden claim in discourse.

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Nate Charlow
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

Citations of this work

Epistemic Multilateral Logic.Luca Incurvati & Julian J. Schlöder - 2022 - Review of Symbolic Logic 15 (2):505-536.
Semantic expressivism for epistemic modals.Peter Hawke & Shane Steinert-Threlkeld - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (2):475-511.
Speech Acts: The Contemporary Theoretical Landscape.Daniel W. Harris, Daniel Fogal & Matt Moss - 2018 - In Daniel Fogal, Daniel W. Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford University Press.
Modus Ponens and the Logic of Decision.Nate Charlow - 2023 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 52 (3):859-888.
Expressivism by force.Seth Yalcin - 2018 - In Daniel Fogal, Daniel W. Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford University Press.

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The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
Change in View: Principles of Reasoning.Gilbert Harman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
The Nature of Normativity.Ralph Wedgwood - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Attitudes de dicto and de se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
Impassioned Belief.Michael Ridge - 2014 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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