, Volume 161, Issue 2, pp 207-225
Date: 26 Apr 2011

Minimalism on quotation? Critical review of Cappelen and Lepore’s language turned on itself

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Abstract

Research on quotation has mostly focussed in the past years on “mixed” or “open” quotation. In a recent book-length discussion of the topic, Cappelen and Lepore have abandon their previous Davidsonian allegiances, proposing a new view that they describe as minimalist, to a good extend on the basis of facts concerning mixed quotation. In this paper I critically review Cappelen and Lepore’s new minimalist proposals, briefly outlining my preferred Davidsonian view as a useful foil. I explore first their allegedly non-Davidsonian, anti-contextualist views about pure quotation, and then their new views on mixed quotation. I have complained in the first place that their proposals are not presented as perspicuously as they should be; and in the second place that, when we have a clearer picture of what appears to be the favoured account, the differences with their previous proposals and others already in the literature are not as great as they claim.