Philosophical Studies

, Volume 174, Issue 6, pp 1587–1604 | Cite as

Conversation and common ground

  • Mitchell GreenEmail author


Stalnaker’s conception of context as common ground (what he calls CG-context) possesses unquestionable explanatory power, shedding light on presupposition, presupposition accommodation, the behavior of certain types of conditionals, epistemic modals, and related phenomena. The CG-context approach is also highly abstract, so merely pointing out that it fails to account for an aspect of communication is an inconclusive criticism. Instead our question should be whether it can be extended or modified to account for such a phenomenon while preserving its spirit. To that end, this essay assesses the prospects of the CG-context approach for making sense of the variety of ways in which interlocutors accept propositions as well as non-propositional contents, some different types of conversation and the norms distinctive of these different types, some pre-illocutionary pragmatic phenomena, conversational injustice, and fictional discourse.


Common ground Assertion Conversation Cooperative Principle Conversational implicature Presupposition Interrogative Illocutionary force Illocutionary silencing Fictional discourse Speaker meaning Expression Expressive behavior 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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