Meaning and Force: The Pragmatics of Performative Utterances

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CUP Archive, 1987 - Philosophy - 278 pages
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Professor Recanati's book is a major new contribution to the philosophy of language. Its point of departure is a refutation of two views central to the work of speech-act theorists such as Austin & Searle: that speech acts are essentially conventional, & that the force of an utterance can be made fully explicit at the level of sentence-meaning & is in principle a matter of linguistic decoding. The author argues that no utterance can be fully understood simply in terms of its linguistic meaning, but that only a contextual inference can provide an adequate framework. In pursuit of this argument, he deals with the major issues of pragmatics & speech-act theory: conversational implicatives & indirect speech acts, the classification of illocutionary forces, the performative/constative distinction, delocutivity, locutionary meaning, non-literal uses of languages, the principle of expressibilty, & the difference between institutional & communicative illocutionary acts.
 

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Contents

performative and constative 143
20
The problem of descriptive indication
31
The paratactic hypothesis
44
Radical conventionalism
65
the conventionalist view
67
19 Critique of Austins critique
70
20 The conventional character of illocutionary acts
74
21 A preliminary defense of conventionalism
78
38 Classifying illocutionary acts
154
40 Declarative sentences are forceneutral
163
41 Performative utterances in general and explicit performatives in particular
169
Communicative intentions and communicative acts
176
43 Clearing the ground
178
44 Communicative intentions and the NeoGricean Claim
184
45 Are communicative intentions reflexive?
192
46 Default reflexivity
199

22 Radical conventionalism
81
explicit performatives as selfverifying utterances
86
Ducrots conjecture
94
autodelocutivity
97
26 Some examples in favor of Ducrots hypothesis
100
27 The multiplicity of possible derivations
103
28 Does delocutivity always support conventionalism?
108
The pragmatics of performative utterances
115
Indirect speech acts
117
30 Conversational implicatures
118
31 Implication intentional implication and indirect speech acts
121
32 Interpreting direct and indirect illocutionary acts
126
33 The role of the conversational principles in interpretation
130
The performative use of declarative sentences
135
a Gricean analysis
139
37 Against assertion in the broad sense
150
47 Explicit performatives and communicative acts
207
Meaning and force
217
Sentence understanding and speechact understanding
219
49 The principle of literalness
224
50 Tropes and their interpretation
228
51 Polyphony
233
Locution and illocution
236
53 The three components of a locutionary act
238
54 Locutionary meaning and propositional content
241
55 Objections to the propositional interpretation
245
56 Searles interpretation
248
57 Austins triad and Strawsons interpretation
250
58 Austins triad and indirect speech acts
254
References
267
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