Literal Meaning

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Cambridge University Press, 2004 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 179 pages
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This is a provocative contribution to the current debate about the best delimitation of semantics and pragmatics. Is 'What is said' determined by linguistic conventions, or is it an aspect of 'speaker's meaning'? Do we need pragmatics to fix truth-conditions? What is 'literal meaning'? To what extent is semantic composition a creative process? How pervasive is context-sensitivity? Recanati provides an original and insightful defence of 'contextualism', and offers an informed survey of the spectrum of positions held by linguists and philosophers working at the semantics/pragmatics interface.
 

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Contents

Two approaches to what is said
5
12 Minimalism
7
13 Literal truthconditions vs actual truthconditions
8
14 A problem for Minimalism
10
15 The availability of what is said
13
16 The availability based approach
16
17 Saying as a pragmatic notion
18
18 Availability vs Minimalism
20
57 Conclusion
81
From Literalism to Contextualism
83
62 Indexicalism
86
63 Contextualism
90
64 Literalist responses to the contextualist challenge
92
65 Where Indexicalism and Contextualism meet
95
Indexicalism and the Binding Fallacy
98
72 Two criteria
100

Primary pragmatic processes
23
22 Rejecting the Gricean picture
27
23 Accessibility
30
24 Objections and responses
32
25 Interactive processing
34
26 The role of schemata
36
Relevancetheoretic objections
38
32 Personal and subpersonal inferences
40
33 Implicature or enrichment?
44
34 Mutual adjustment of explicature and implicature
46
35 Implicated premisses
48
occurrent vs dispositional
49
The Syncretic View
51
the literalist picture
54
43 Semantic underdeterminacy
56
44 The minimal proposition as common denominator
58
45 Interaction between saturation and optional pragmatic processes
61
46 Do we need the minimal proposition?
64
47 The reflexive proposition
65
Nonliteral uses
68
52 Nonliteral uses and secondary meaning
70
53 Nonminimal departures without secondariness
72
54 The transparency condition
74
55 Varieties of nonliteral meaning
75
56 Internal vs external duality
78
73 The indexicalist challenge
103
74 Is the Binding Criterion reliable?
105
75 Variadic functions
107
76 The Binding Fallacy
109
the failure of Indexicalism
111
Circumstances of evaluation
115
82 Time and tense
118
83 Situations
121
84 Saturation or enrichment?
124
85 Subsentential circumstances
125
86 Conclusion
127
Contextualism how far can we go?
131
92 The semantic relevance of modulation
133
93 Four approaches
136
from Waismanns open texture to Searles background
141
95 Ostensive definitions
144
96 Meaning Eliminativism
146
97 Conclusion
151
Conclusion
154
102 Remnants of Literalism
159
103 Availability Minimalism and the dispositionaloccurrent contrast
162
Bibliography
166
Index
175
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Page 2 - The meaning of a sentence (or of any complex symbol) is determined by the meanings of its parts and the way they are put together.

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About the author (2004)

François Recanati is a Research Director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, Paris). He has published many papers and several books on the philosophy of language and mind, including Meaning and Force (Cambridge, 1988), Direct Reference (1993), and Oratio Obliqua, Oratio Recta (2000). He is also co-founder and past President of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy.

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