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Explanatory roles for minimal content

Borg, E. ORCID: (2019) Explanatory roles for minimal content. Nous, 53 (3). pp. 513-539. ISSN 1468-0068

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/nous.12217


A standard objection to so-called ‘minimal semantics’ (Borg 2004, 2012, Cappelen and Lepore 2005) is that minimal contents are explanatorily redundant as they play no role in an adequate account of linguistic communication (those making this objection include Levinson 2000, Carston 2002, Recanati 2004). This paper argues that this standard objection is mistaken. Furthermore, I argue that seeing why the objection is mistaken sheds light both on how we should draw the classic Gricean distinction between saying and implicating, and how we should think about the key philosophical notion of assertion. Specifically, it reveals that these ideas are best understood primarily in socio-linguistic terms (resting on the degree of liability a speaker is held to have for linguistically conveyed content).

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Cognition Research (CCR)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ID Code:71764


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