Against Truth-Conditional Theories of Meaning: Three Lessons from the Language(s) of Fiction

Res Philosophica 93 (2):441-459 (2016)
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Abstract

Fictional discourse and fictional languages provide useful test cases for theories of meaning. In this paper, we argue against truth-conditional accounts of meaning on the basis of problems posed by language(s) of fiction. It is well-known how fictional discourse -- discourse about non-existent objects -- poses a problem for truth-conditional theories of meaning. Less well-considered, however, are the problems posed by fictional languages, which can be created to either be meaningful or not to be meaningful; both of these ultimately also provide problems for a truth-conditional account of meaning, because it cannot account for the ways in which we use and evaluate such fictional languages.

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Author Profiles

Sara L. Uckelman
Durham University
Phoebe Chan
University of Hong Kong

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Logic and conversation.Herbert Paul Grice - 1967 - In Paul Grice (ed.), Studies in the Way of Words. Harvard University Press. pp. 41-58.

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