Modified Occam's Razor

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):371-382 (2012)
According to the principle Grice calls 'Modified Occam's Razor' (MOR), 'Senses are not to be multiplied beyond necessity'. More carefully, MOR says that if there are distinct ways in which an expression is regularly used, then, all other things being equal, we should favour the view that the expression is unambiguous and that certain uses of it can be explained in pragmatic terms. In this paper I argue that MOR cannot have the central role that is typically assigned to it by those who deploy it. More specifically, I argue that potential justifications of the epistemic import of parsimony in semantic theorizing are problematic, and that even if MOR could be justified, it has a redundant role to play in adjudicating the debate between the ambiguity-theorist and the proponent of the pragmatic approach
Keywords ambiguity  Grice  implicature  meaning  Modified Occam's razor
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00048402.2011.578143
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,392
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
Stephen R. Schiffer (1972). Meaning. Oxford, Clarendon Press.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

79 ( #61,446 of 1,924,677 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #124,769 of 1,924,677 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.