Max Kölbel
University of Vienna
David Lewis has tried to explain what it is for a possible language to be the actual language of a population in terms of his game-theoretical notion of a convention. This explanation of the actual language relation is re-evaluated in the light of some typical episodes of linguistic communication, and it is argued that speakers of a language do not generally stand in the actual language relation to that language if the actual language relation is explicated in Lewis's way. In order to avoid these counterexamples, an alternative account of the actual language relation is proposed which makes use of Lewis's notion of convention in a different way.
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DOI 10.1080/002017498321788
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References found in this work BETA

Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Kellogg Lewis - 1969 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Languages and Language.David K. Lewis - 1975 - In Keith Gunderson (ed.), Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 3-35.
Utterer's Meaning, Sentence-Meaning, and Word-Meaning.H. P. Grice - 1968 - Foundations of Language 4 (3):225-242.
Mood and Language-Game.Erik Stenius - 1967 - Synthese 17 (1):254 - 274.
Meaning, Communication, and Knowledge.John McDowell - 1980 - In Z. Van Straaten (ed.), Philosophical Subjects. Oxford University Press. pp. 1.

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Convention.Michael Rescorla - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Use Theories of Meaning.Marc Staudacher - 2010 - Dissertation, University of Amsterdam

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