Interpretation and Understanding
Our species has been hunting for meaning ever since we departed from our cousins in the evolutionary tree. We developed sophisticated forms of communication. Yet, as much as they can convey meaning and foster understanding, they can also hide meaning and prevent comprehension. Indeed, we can never be sure that a "yes" conveys assent or that a smile reveals pleasure. In order to ascertain what communicative behavior "means", we have to go through an elaborate cognitive process of interpretation.
This book deals with how we achieve the daily miracle of understanding each other. Based on the author 's contributions to pragmatics, the book articulates his perspective using the insights of linguistics, the philosophy of language and rhetoric, and confronting alternatives to it. Theory formation is shaped by application to fields of human activity such as legal practice, artificial intelligence, psychoanalysis, the media, literature, aesthetics, ethics and politics where interpretation and understanding are paramount.
Using an accessible language, this is a book addressed to specialists as well as to anyone interested in interpreting understanding and understanding the potentialities and limits of interpretation.
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A’s utterance action addressee analysis argument assertion assumptions aVairs aval behavior belief Chapter claim clues cognitive commitment communicative intentions component concepts context contextual information conversational demand conversational implicatures convey criticism Dascal deictic expressions Descartes deWned deWnition digressions discourse discussion distinction diVerent diYculties eVect example expression fact Freud function Grice hearer hermeneutics identiWcation illocutionary act illocutionary force implicature implies indirect inference interaction involved joke justiWed kind knowledge layers Leibniz linguistic literal meaning logical Malebranche matter maxim mental metaphor misunderstanding notion one’s performance philosophical possible pragmatic interpretation presuppositions principle problem propositional propositional attitudes question rational lawmaker reason reference rejected relevant rhetorical role rules scientiWc Searle Searle’s semantic sense sentence signiWcance situation sociopragmatic speaker speaker’s meaning speciWc speech act theory structure suggests suYcient syntactic tion topic types understanding utterance meaning words Wrst Yoram Aridor