In Defense of Context Shifting Arguments

Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 85)

Abstract

In a series of recent papers and a book Cappelen and Lepore advance the negative view that the “Context Shifting Arguments” (CSAs) utilized by proponents of radical pragmatics are unsound. And they advance the positive view that (at least some of) the problematic phenomena invoked in CSAs can be accounted for – or at least set aside – by distinguishing between the truth conditions of a sentence, and “what is said” by an utterance. My primary goal in this paper is to defend radical pragmatics from Cappelen and Lepore’s negative view. I argue that Cappelen and Lepore’s positive view – with the exception of one glitch – is an instance of the sort of view that the reformers endorse. Moreover, I argue that – though they may not be aware of it – what really compels Cappelen and Lepore to endorse their positive view is CSAs, the very arguments they claim to be unsound. Thus there is a considerable amount of tension in their views. My goal here is to resolve this tension by defending CSAs from Cappelen and Lepore's criticism, and to illustrate why one should endorse these arguments.

KeyWords

Semantic minimalism radical pragmatics context shifting contextualism truth conditional semantics speech acts indexicals context sensitivity pragmatics semantic content utterance content 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Investigador, Instituo Investigaciones Filosoficas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva S/N, Zona Cultural, Ciudad UniversitariaDel. CoyoacanMexico

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