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Deirdre Wilson
University College London
  1. Relevance, Communication and Cognition.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1986 - Oxford: Blackwell.
     
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  2. Epistemic Vigilance.Dan Sperber, Fabrice Clément, Christophe Heintz, Olivier Mascaro, Hugo Mercier, Gloria Origgi & Deirdre Wilson - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (4):359-393.
    Humans massively depend on communication with others, but this leaves them open to the risk of being accidentally or intentionally misinformed. To ensure that, despite this risk, communication remains advantageous, humans have, we claim, a suite of cognitive mechanisms for epistemic vigilance. Here we outline this claim and consider some of the ways in which epistemic vigilance works in mental and social life by surveying issues, research and theories in different domains of philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology and the social sciences.
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  3. Pragmatics, Modularity and Mind-Reading.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (1-2):3–23.
    The central problem for pragmatics is that sentence meaning vastly underdetermines speaker’s meaning. The goal of pragmatics is to explain how the gap between sentence meaning and speaker’s meaning is bridged. This paper defends the broadly Gricean view that pragmatic interpretation is ultimately an exercise in mind-reading, involving the inferential attribution of intentions. We argue, however, that the interpretation process does not simply consist in applying general mind-reading abilities to a particular (communicative) domain. Rather, it involves a dedicated comprehension module, (...)
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  4. Relevance Theory.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 2002 - In L. Horn & G. Ward (eds.), The Handbook of Pragmatics. Blackwell. pp. 607-632.
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    Précis of Relevance: Communication and Cognition.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):697.
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    Meaning and Relevance.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
    When people speak, their words never fully encode what they mean, and the context is always compatible with a variety of interpretations. How can comprehension ever be achieved? Wilson and Sperber argue that comprehension is an inference process guided by precise expectations of relevance. What are the relations between the linguistically encoded meanings studied in semantics and the thoughts that humans are capable of entertaining and conveying? How should we analyse literal meaning, approximations, metaphors and ironies? Is the ability to (...)
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  7. Truthfulness and Relevance.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 2002 - Mind 111 (443):583-632.
    This paper questions the widespread view that verbal communication is governed by a maxim, norm or convention of truthfulness which applies at the level of what is literally meant, or what is said. Pragmatic frameworks based on this view must explain the frequent occurrence and acceptability of loose and figurative uses of language. We argue against existing explanations of these phenomena and provide an alternative account, based on the assumption that verbal communication is governed not by expectations of truthfulness but (...)
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  8. A Deflationary Account of Metaphor.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 2008 - In Ray Gibbs (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 84-105.
    On the relevance-theoretic approach outlined in this paper, linguistic metaphors are not a natural kind, and ―metaphor‖ is not a theoretically important notion in the study of verbal communication. Metaphorical interpretations are arrived at in exactly the same way as literal, loose and hyperbolic interpretations: there is no mechanism specific to metaphors, and no interesting generalisation that applies only to them. In this paper, we defend this approach in detail by showing how the same inferential procedure applies to utterances at (...)
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  9. Metaphor, Relevance and the 'Emergent Property' Issue.Deirdre Wilson & Robyn Carston - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (3):404–433.
    The interpretation of metaphorical utterances often results in the attribution of emergent properties, which are neither standardly associated with the individual constituents in isolation nor derivable by standard rules of semantic composition. An adequate pragmatic account of metaphor interpretation must explain how these properties are derived. Using the framework of relevance theory, we propose a wholly inferential account, and argue that the derivation of emergent properties involves no special interpretive mechanisms not required for the interpretation of ordinary, literal utterances.
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  10.  88
    IX—Loose Talk.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1985 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 86 (1):153-172.
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    Pragmatics.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1981 - Cognition 10 (1-3):281-286.
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    Beyond Speaker’s Meaning.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 2015 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 15 (2):117-149.
    Our main aim in this paper is to show that constructing an adequate theory of communication involves going beyond Grice’s notion of speaker’s meaning. After considering some of the difficulties raised by Grice’s three-clause definition of speaker’s meaning, we argue that the characterisation of ostensive communication introduced in relevance theory can provide a conceptually unified explanation of a much wider range of communicative acts than Grice was concerned with, including cases of both ‘showing that’ and ‘telling that’, and with both (...)
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  13.  79
    The Mapping Between the Mental and the Public Lexicon.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1998 - In Peter Carruthers & Jill Boucher (eds.), [Book Chapter]. Cambridge University Press. pp. 184-200.
    We argue that the presence of a word in an utterance serves as starting point for a relevance guided inferential process that results in the construction of a contextually appropriate sense. The linguistically encoded sense of a word does not serve as its default interpretation. The cases where the contextually appropriate sense happens to be identical to this linguistic sense have no particular theoretical significance. We explore some of the consequences of this view. One of these consequences is that there (...)
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  14.  48
    Mood and the Analysis of Non-Declarative Sentences.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 1988 - In J. Dancy, J. M. E. Moravcsik & C. C. W. Taylor (eds.), Human Agency: Language, Duty, and Value. Stanford University Press. pp. 77--101.
    How are non-declarative sentences understood? How do they differ semantically from their declarative counterparts? Answers to these questions once made direct appeal to the notion of illocutionary force. When they proved unsatisfactory, the fault was diagnosed as a failure to distinguish properly between mood and force. For some years now, efforts have been under way to develop a satisfactory account of the semantics of mood. In this paper, we consider the current achievements and future prospects of the mood-based semantic programme.
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  15. Presuppositions and Non-Truth-Conditional Semantics.Deirdre Wilson - 1975 - Academic Press.
     
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  16.  51
    Linguistic Form and Relevance.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 1993 - Lingua 90:1-25.
    Our book Relevance (Sperber and Wilson 1986) treats utterance interpretation as a two-phase process: a modular decoding phase is seen as providing input to a central inferential phase in which a linguistically encoded logical form is contextually enriched and used to construct a hypothesis about the speaker's informative intention. Relevance was mainly concerned with the inferential phase of comprehension: we had to answer Fodor's challenge that while decoding processes are quite well understood, inferential processes are not only not understood, but (...)
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  17.  4
    Metaphor, Relevance and the 'Emergent Property' Issue.Deirdre Wilson & Robyn Carston - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (3):404-433.
    The interpretation of metaphorical utterances often results in the attribution of emergent properties, which are neither standardly associated with the individual constituents in isolation nor derivable by standard rules of semantic composition. An adequate pragmatic account of metaphor interpretation must explain how these properties are derived. Using the framework of relevance theory, we propose a wholly inferential account, and argue that the derivation of emergent properties involves no special interpretive mechanisms not required for the interpretation of ordinary, literal utterances.
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  18. A Unitary Approach to Lexical Pragmatics: Relevance, Inference and Ad Hoc Concepts.Deirdre Wilson & Robyn Carston - 2007 - In Noel Burton-Roberts (ed.), Pragmatics. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 3.
  19. Fodor's Frame Problem and Relevance Theory (Reply to Chiappe & Kukla).Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (3):530-532.
    Chiappe and Kukla argue that relevance theory fails to solve the frame problem as defined by Fodor. They are right. They are wrong, however, to take Fodor’s frame problem too seriously. Fodor’s concerns, on the other hand, even though they are wrongly framed, are worth addressing. We argue that Relevance thoery helps address them.
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  20.  47
    Metaphor and the 'Emergent Property' Problem: A Relevance-Theoretic Approach.Deirdre Wilson & Robyn Carston - 2007 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 3.
    The interpretation of metaphorical utterances often results in the attribution of emergent properties; these are properties which are neither standardly associated with the individual constituents of the utterance in isolation nor derivable by standard rules of semantic composition. For example, an utterance of ‘Robert is a bulldozer’ may be understood as attributing to Robert such properties as single-mindedness, insistence on having things done in his way, and insensitivity to the opinions/feelings of others, although none of these is included in the (...)
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  21. Presuppositions and Non-Truth-Conditional Semantics.Deirdre Wilson - 1977 - Mind 86 (344):627-629.
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  22.  29
    Introduction: Special Issue on Pragmatics and Cognitive Science.Robyn Carston, Samuel Guttenplan & Deirdre Wilson - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (1-2):1–2.
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  23.  46
    Rhetoric and Relevance.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1990 - In J. Bender & D. Wellbery (eds.), The Ends of Rhetoric: History, Theory, Practice. Stanford University Press. pp. 140-56.
  24. La pertinence, communication et cognition.Dan Sperber, Deirdre Wilson & A. Gershenfeld - 1992 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 182 (2):256-257.
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  25.  56
    The Self-Appointment of Seuren as Censor a Reply to Pieter Seuren.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 1986 - Journal of Semantics 5 (2):145-162.
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  26.  13
    Presumptions of Relevance.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):736.
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    Précis of Relevance: Communication and Cognition.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 2013 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 220.
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    Spontaneous Deduction and Mutual Knowledge.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (1):179-184.
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    Presupposition.Presuppositions and Non-Truth-Conditional Semantics.Scott Soames, David E. Cooper & Deirdre Wilson - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (2):274.
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  30.  3
    Metaphor and the 'Emergent Property' Problem: A Relevance-Theoretic Approach.Deirdre Wilson & Robyn Carston - 2007 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 3.
    The interpretation of metaphorical utterances often results in the attribution of emergent properties; these are properties which are neither standardly associated with the individual constituents of the utterance in isolation nor derivable by standard rules of semantic composition. For example, an utterance of ‘Robert is a bulldozer’ may be understood as attributing to Robert such properties as single-mindedness, insistence on having things done in his way, and insensitivity to the opinions/feelings of others, although none of these is included in the (...)
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  31.  1
    Presupposition and the Delimitation of Semantics.Ruth M. Kempson & Deirdre Wilson - 1976 - Philosophical Quarterly 26 (105):379-382.
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  32. Presupposition.David E. Cooper & Deirdre Wilson - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (2):274-278.
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  33. La Pertinence, communication et cognition, collection « Propositions ».Dan Sperber, Deirdre Wilson & Abel Gerschenfeld - 1991 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 96 (3):430-432.
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