Malapropisms and Davidson's Theories of Literal Meaning


Authors
John Michael McGuire
Hanyang University
Abstract
In this paper I show that two conflicting theories of literal meaning can be found in Donald Davidson's philosophy of language. In his earlier writings, Davidson espoused the common sense idea that words have literal meanings independently of particular contexts of use. In his later writings, however, Davidson insisted that the literal meaning of a word is a function of the speaker's intentions in using it, from which it follows that words do not have literal meanings independently of particular contexts. In this paper I examine and evaluate the transition from Davidson's earlier to his later view of literal meaning. I show that the change in view came about through Davidson's efforts to extend a theory of literal meaning to malapropisms but that Davidson's understanding of malapropisms is seriously flawed. I conclude that Davidson had no good reason for espousing his later intentions-based theory of literal meaning
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/wcp2120076189
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,000
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-12-02

Total views
58 ( #130,522 of 2,236,192 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #462,909 of 2,236,192 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature