Journal of Philosophical Research 26:295-305 (2001)
I develop the concept of hypothetical interpretation to give an account of certain problematic interpretive practices within a broadly Gricean framework. These practices attempt to find neither speaker nor linguistic meaning but rather, seek to discover such things as the unconscious beliefs of a text’s producer. In developing the concept of hypothetical interpretation, I consider in particular the question of their plausibility. I show how the plausibility of a hypothetical interpretation can be taken as providing evidence about a speaker’s noncommunicative mental state, and how psychoanalytic interpretive practices and similar “hermeneutics of suspicion” rely upon such evidence
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