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 accepted addressee analysis argument Aridor assertion assumptions aval behavior belief Chapter characterization claim clues cognitive coherence commitment communicative intentions component concept considered context contextual information conversational demand conversational implicatures convey critical Dascal deictic expressions Descartes digressional digressions discourse discussion distinction example expression extra-linguistic fact formulated Freud function further Grice hearer hermeneutic illocutionary force implicature implies indicate indirect interaction involvement joke kind knowledge language latter layers of meaning legal text Leibniz linguistic logical lonlay Malebranche maxim meta-linguistic metaphor misunderstanding nature notion philosophy of language possible presuppositions principle Principle of Charity problem propositional propositional attitudes question rational lawmaker reason reference rejected role rules Searle semantic sense sentence situation sociopragmatic speaker's meaning specific speech act speech act theory structure suggested theory of understanding tion topically relevant truth-conditional semantics utterance meaning utterance-based words Yoram Aridor