Pragmatics and Processing

Ratio 28 (4):446-469 (2015)

Bart Geurts
Radboud University Nijmegen
Gricean pragmatics has often been criticised for being implausible from a psychological point of view. This line of criticism is never backed up by empirical evidence, but more importantly, it ignores the fact that Grice never meant to advance a processing theory, in the first place. Taking our lead from Marr, we distinguish between two levels of explanation: at the W-level, we are concerned with what agents do and why; at the H-level, we ask how agents do whatever it is they do. Whereas pragmatics is pitched at the W-level, processing theories are at the H-level. This is not to say that pragmatics has no implications for psychology at all, but it is to say that its implications are less direct than is often supposed
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DOI 10.1111/rati.12113
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References found in this work BETA

Studies in the Way of Words.H. Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Mindreading in Infancy.Peter Carruthers - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (2):141-172.

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