Words by convention

In Ernie Lepore & David Sosa (eds.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Language, Volume 1. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press (2019)
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Existing metasemantic projects presuppose that word- (or sentence-) types are part of the non-semantic base. We propose a new strategy: an endogenous account of word types, that is, one where word types are fixed as part of the metasemantics. On this view, it is the conventions of truthfulness and trust that ground not only the meaning of the words (meaning by convention) but also what the word type is of each particular token utterance (words by convention). The same treatment extends to identifying the populations through which the conventions prevail. We consider whether this proposal leads to new underdetermination challenges for metasemantics, and make a case that it does not.



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Citations of this work

Deciding What We Mean.Andrew Peet - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Languages and language use.Jessica Keiser - 2023 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (2):357-376.

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References found in this work

The Causal Theory of Names.Gareth Evans - 1973 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 47 (1):187–208.
Words.David Kaplan - 1990 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 64 (1):93-119.
Radical Interpretation.Donald Davidson - 1973 - Dialectica 27 (3-4):313-328.
Quotation.Donald Davidson - 1979 - Theory and Decision 11 (1):27-40.

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