Knowledge, Pragmatics, and Error

Grazer Philosophische Studien 93 (3):429-57 (2016)
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Abstract

‘Know-that’, like so many natural language expressions, exhibits patterns of use that provide evidence for its context-sensitivity. A popular family of views – call it prag- matic invariantism – attempts to explain the shifty patterns by appeal to a pragmatic thesis: while the semantic meaning of ‘know-that’ is stable across all contexts of use, sentences of the form ‘S knows [doesn’t know] that p’ can be used to communicate a pragmatic content that depends on the context of use. In this paper, the author argues that pragmatic invariantism makes inaccurate predictions for a wide range of well- known use data and is committed to attributing systematic pragmatic error to ordinary speakers. But pragmatic error is unprecedented, and it is doubtful that speakers are systematically wrong about what they intend to communicate.

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Author's Profile

Dirk Kindermann
University of Vienna

Citations of this work

Much at Stake in Knowledge.Alexander Dinges & Julia Zakkou - 2020 - Mind and Language 36 (5):729-749.
Knowledge, Intuition and Implicature.Alexander Dinges - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2821-2843.
Knowledge Embedded.Dirk Kindermann - forthcoming - Synthese (5):4035-4055.
No Way to WAM.Dirk Kindermann - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):775-788.

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References found in this work

Studies in the Way of Words.Herbert Paul Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge in an Uncertain World.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Meaning.Herbert Paul Grice - 1957 - Philosophical Review 66 (3):377-388.

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