The problem of establishing the best interpretation of a speech act is of fundamental importance in argumentation and communication in general. A party in a dialogue can interpret another’s or his own speech acts in the most convenient ways to achieve his dialogical goals. In defamation law this phenomenon becomes particularly important, as the dialogical effects of a communicative move may result in legal consequences. The purpose of this paper is to combine the instruments provided by argumentation theory with the (...) advances in pragmatics in order to propose an argumentative approach to meaning reconstruction. This theoretical proposal will be applied to and tested against defamation cases at common law. Interpretation is represented as based on a hierarchy of interpretative presumptions. On this view, the development of the logical form of an utterance is regarded as the result of an abductive pattern of reasoning in which various types of presumptions are confronted and the weakest ones are excluded. Conflicts of interpretations and equivocation become essentially interwoven with the dialectical problem of fulfilling the burden of defeating a presumption. The interpreter has a burden of explaining why a given presumption is subject to default, assuming that the speaker is reasonable and acting based on a set of shared expectations. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore Bach’s idea (Bach, 2000) that null appositives, intended as expanded qua-clauses, can resolve the puzzles of belief reports. These puzzles are crucial in understanding the semantics and pragmatics of belief reports and are presented in a section. I propose that Bach’s strategy is not only a way of dealing with puzzles, but also an ideal way of dealing with belief reports. I argue that even simple unproblematic cases of belief reports are cases of pragmatic intrusion, (...) involving null appositives, or to use the words of Bach, ‘qua-clauses’. The main difference between my pragmatic approach and the one by Salmon (1986) is that this author uses the notion of conversational implicature, whereas I use the notion of pragmatic intrusion and explicature. From my point of view, statements such as ‘‘John believes that Cicero is clever’’ and ‘‘John believes that Tully is clever’’ have got distinct truth-values. In other words, I claim that belief reports in the default case illuminate the hearer on the mental life of the believer, that includes specific modes of presentation of the referents talked about. Furthermore, while in the other pragmatic approaches, it is mysterious how a mode of presentation is assumed to be the main filter of the believer’s mental life, here I provide an explanatory account in terms of relevance, cognitive effects, and processing efforts. The most important part of the paper is devoted to showing that null appositives are required, in the case of belief reports, to explain certain anaphoric effects, which would otherwise be mysterious. My examples show that null appositives are not necessitated at logical form, but only at the level of the explicature, in line with the standard assumptions by Carston and Recanati on pragmatic intrusion. I develop a potentially useful analysis of belief reports by exploiting syntactic and semantic considerations on presuppositional clitics in Romance. (shrink)
In this chapter I deal with indirect reports in terms of language games. I try to make connections between the theory of language games and the theory of indirect reports, in the light of the issue of clues and cues. Indirect reports are based on an interplay of voices. The voice of the reporter must allow hearers to ‘reconstruct’ the voice of the reported speaker. Ideally, it must be possible to separate the reporter’s voice from that of the reported speaker. (...) When we analyze the language game of indirect reporting, we ideally want to establish which parts belong to the primary voice (the reported speaker’s voice) and which parts belong to the reporter’s voice. In this paper I apply considerations on language games by Dascal et al. (1996) and I explore the dialectics between abstract pragmatics principles and considerations about situated uses that are sensitive to cues and clues. (shrink)
The recent debate on pragmatics and the law has found ways to circumvent an important distinction, originally drawn by Dascal and Wróblewski, between the historical law-maker, the current law-maker, and the ideal/rational law-maker.1 By insisting on the relationship between the rational law-maker and contextualism and textualism, I want to redress this fault in current discussions. In this paper, I start with general considerations on pragmatics, intentionality in ordinary conversation, and intentionality in the context of judiciary proceedings and legal texts. I (...) then move on to considerations on rationality as a prerequisite for understanding the law and on the rational law-maker, an ideal construct proposed by Dascal and Wróblewski. I argue that contextualism is the best way to carry out the program by Dascal and Wróblewski on interpretation and the rational law-maker ;. I argue that bearing in mind the rational law-maker postulated by Dascal and Wróblewski is a guidance to interpretation of statutes whose texts create interpretative difficulties. I conclude by saying that the considerations on the rational law-maker constitute a compromise between Scalia’s textualism and contextualism. (shrink)
This paper presents a purely pragmatic account of quotation which, it is argued, will be able to accommodate all relevant linguistic phenomena. Given that it is more parsimonious to explain the data by reference to pragmatic principles only than to explain them by reference to both pragmatic and semantic principles, as is common in the literature, I conclude that the account of quotation I present is to be preferred to the more standard accounts (including the alternative theories of quotation, discussed (...) here). (shrink)
This contribution focuses attention on the lexical and syntactic features of the Latin version of the Letters to Cledonius: In the passages examined it highlights the differences between the translation and the Greek text, recreates the practices and the strategies of the translator, with particular reference to the two Letters and in some cases to other of Gregory of Nazianzen's texts as reported in Laur. San Marco 584. Lastly the article evaluates the genuineness of the Latin text that was handed (...) down and the possible supply to the constitution of the Greek text. (shrink)
In English, we use the word "I" to express thoughts that we have about ourselves, and we use the reflexive pronouns "himself" and "herself" to attribute such thoughts to others. Philosophers and linguists call such thoughts, and the statements we use to express them, de se. De se thoughts and statements, although they appear often in our day-to-day lives, pose a series of challenging problems for both linguists and philosophers. This interdisciplinary volume examines the structure of de se thought, various (...) issues concerning the semantics and pragmatics of our discourse about it, and also what it reveals about how humans think about themselves and the world around them. (shrink)
The paper questions the assumption (widespread in semantic—and indeed pragmatic—theory) that linguistic expressions have meaning in virtue of possessing semantic properties/content. Problems created by this assumption are discussed ...
Alessandro Capone Franco Lo Piparo Marco Carapezza Editors Perspectives on Pragmatics and Philosophy Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology Volume 1 Editor-in-Cheif Alessandro. Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy ...
This volume addresses the intriguing issue of indirect reports from an interdisciplinary perspective. The contributors include philosophers, theoretical linguists, socio-pragmaticians, and cognitive scientists. The book is divided into four sections following the provenance of the authors. Combining the voices from leading and emerging authors in the field, it offers a detailed picture of indirect reports in the world’s languages and their significance for theoretical linguistics. Building on the previous book on indirect reports in this series, this volume adds an empirical (...) and cross-linguistic approach that covers an impressive range of languages, such as Cantonese, Japanese, Hebrew, Persian, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, Armenian, Italian, English, Hungarian, German, Rumanian, and Basque. (shrink)