Advertisement

Philosophical Studies

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

Conversation and common ground

  • Mitchell GreenEmail author
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

References

  1. Belnap, N., Perloff, M., & Xu, M. (2001). Facing the future: Agents and choices in our indeterministic world (with contributions by P. Bartha, M. Green, and J. Horty). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bird, A. (2002). Illocutionary silencing. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 83, 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Frankfurt, H. (2005). On bullshit. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Geurts, B. (2010). Quantity implicatures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Green, M. (1995). Quantity, volubility, and some varieties of discourse. Linguistics and Philosophy, 18, 83–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Green, M. (1998). Direct reference and implicature. Philosophical Studies, 91, 61–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Green, M. (1999). Illocutions, implicata, and what a conversation requires. Pragmatics and Cognition, 7, 65–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Green, M. (2007). Self-expression. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Green, M. (2010). How and what can we learn from literature? In G. Hagberg & W. Jost (Eds.), The blackwell companion to the philosophy of literature (pp. 350–366). Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  10. Green, M. (2014). Speech acts. In E. Zalta (Ed.), The stanford encyclopedia of philosophy.Google Scholar
  11. Green, M. (2016a). Learning to be good (or bad) in (or through) literature. In G. Hagberg (Ed.), Fictional characters, real problems: The search for ethical content in literature (pp. 282–304). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Green, M. (2016b). Expressing, showing and representing. In C. Abell & J. Smith (Eds.), Emotional expression: Philosophical, psychological and legal perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Green, M. (forth a). A refinement and defense of the force/content distinction. In D. Fogal, D. Harris & M. Moss (Eds.), New work on speech acts. Oxford.Google Scholar
  14. Green, M. (forth b). Assertion. In D. Pritchard (Ed.), Oxford Handbooks Online.Google Scholar
  15. Green, M. (forth c). How much mentality is needed for meaning?. In Andrews and Beck (Eds.), Routledge handbook of the philosophy of animal minds. Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Grice, P. (1989). Studies in the way of words. Harvard: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hornsby, J., & Langton, R. (1998). Free speech and illocution. Legal Theory, 4, 21–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Isack, H., & Reyer, H. (1989). Honeyguides and honey gatherers: Interspecific communication in a symbiotic relationship. Science, 243, 1343–1346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Langton, R. (1993). Speech acts and unspeakable acts. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 22, 293–330.Google Scholar
  20. Neale, S. (1992). Paul grice and the philosophy of language. Linguistics and Philosophy, 15, 509–559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Recanati, F. (1993). Direct reference: From language to thought. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  22. Recanati, F. (2003). Embedded Implicatures. In J. Hawthorne & D. Zimmerman (Eds.), Philosophical perspectives 17: Language and philosophical linugistics (pp. 299–332). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  23. Searle, J. (1992). Notes on conversation. In J. Searle, H. Parrett, & J. Verschueren (Eds.), (On) searle on conversation (pp. 7–30). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Stalnaker, R. (1970) ‘Pragmatics,’ Synthese 22; reprinted in Stalnaker (1999); pp. 31-46. [Citations are to the 1999 reprinting]Google Scholar
  25. Stalnaker, R. (1974) ‘Pragmatic Presuppositions,’ in Munitz and Unger (eds.) Semantics and Philosophy (NYU Press); repr. in Stalnaker 1999, pp. 47-62; [Citations are to the 1999 reprinting]Google Scholar
  26. Stalnaker, R. (1978) ‘Assertion,’ Syntax and Semantics 9 (New York: Academic Press); repr. In Stalnaker 1999, pp. 78-95. [Citations are to the 1999 reprinting]Google Scholar
  27. Stalnaker, R. (1984). Inquiry. Cambridge: MIT.Google Scholar
  28. Stalnaker, R. (1998) ‘On the Representation of Context,’ Journal of Logic, Language and Information 7; reprinted in Stalnaker (1999); pp. 96-113. [Citations are to the 1999 reprinting]Google Scholar
  29. Stalnaker, R. (1999). Context and content: Essays on intentionality in speech and thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stalnaker, R. (2002). Common ground. Linguistics and Philosophy, 25, 701–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stalnaker, R. (2008). A response to abbott on presupposition and common ground. Linguistics and Philosophy, 31, 539–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stalnaker, R. (2014). Context. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Thomason, R. (1990). Accommodation, meaning and implicature: Interdisciplinary foundations for pragmatics. In P. Cohen, J. Morgan, & M. Pollack (Eds.), Intentions in communication. Cambridge: MIT.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

Personalised recommendations