The evolutionary social psychology of off-record indirect speech acts
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This paper proposes a new analysis of indirect speech in the framework of game theory, social psychology, and evolutionary psychology. It builds on the theory of Grice, which tries to ground indirect speech in pure rationality (the demands of e‰cient communication between two cooperating agents) and on the Politeness Theory of Brown and Levinson, who proposed that people cooperate not just in exchanging data but in saving face (both the speaker’s and the hearer’s). I suggest that these theories need to be supplemented because they assume that people in conversation always cooperate. A reflection on how a pair of talkers may have goals that conflict as well as coincide requires an examination of the game-theoretic logic of plausible denial, both in legal contexts, where people’s words may be held against them, and in everyday life, where the sanctions are social rather than judicial. This in turn requires a theory of the distinct kinds of relationships that make up human social life, a consideration of a new role for common knowledge in the use of indirect speech, and ultimately the paradox of rational ignorance, where we choose not to know something relevant to our interests.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
Wayne A. Davis (forthcoming). Berg’s Answer to Frege’s Puzzle. Philosophia:1-16.
Similar books and articles
Karl Schuhmann & Barry Smith (1990). Elements of Speech Act Theory in the Work of Thomas Reid. History of Philosophy Quarterly 7 (1):47 - 66.
Roy Turner (1985). Speech and the Social Contract. Inquiry 28 (1-4):43 – 53.
Mitchell Green (2010). Speech Acts. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Rory Smead (2010). Indirect Reciprocity and the Evolution of “Moral Signals”. Biology and Philosophy 25 (1):33-51.
Mathias Spichtig & Christian Traxler, Social Norms and the Indirect Evolution of Conditional Cooperation.
Keith Frankish (1996). How Should We Revise the Paratactic Theory? Analysis 56 (4):251–262.
Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides (2001). Indirect Speech Acts. Synthese 128 (1-2):183 - 228.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads63 ( #77,496 of 1,925,097 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #254,993 of 1,925,097 )
How can I increase my downloads?