Philosophical Review 127 (2):151-196 (2018)

Authors
Daniel Hoek
Princeton University
Abstract
Conversational exculpature is a pragmatic process whereby information is subtracted from, rather than added to, what the speaker literally says. This pragmatic content subtraction explains why we can say “Rob is six feet tall” without implying that Rob is between 5'0.99" and 6'0.01" tall, and why we can say “Ellen has a hat like the one Sherlock Holmes always wears” without implying Holmes exists or has a hat. This article presents a simple formalism for understanding this pragmatic mechanism, specifying how, in context, the result of such subtractions is determined. And it shows how the resulting theory of conversational exculpature accounts for a varied range of linguistic phenomena. A distinctive feature of the approach is the crucial role played by the question under discussion in determining the result of a given exculpature.
Keywords formal pragmatics  loose talk  metaphor  logical subtraction  QUD  fictionalism
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DOI 10.1215/00318108-4326594
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References found in this work BETA

Studies in the Way of Words.H. P. Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Aboutness.Stephen Yablo - 2014 - Princeton University Press.
Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David K. Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Studies in the Way of Words.Paul Grice - 1989 - Synthese 84 (1):153-161.

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Citations of this work BETA

Fictional, Metafictional, Parafictional.François Recanati - 2018 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (1):25-54.
Semantics of Fictional Terms.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2019 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 38 (2):73-100.
Co‐Identification and Fictional Names.Manuel García‐Carpintero - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (1):3-34.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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