Success in Referential Communication

Success in Referential Communication

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One of the most basic themes in the philosophy of language is referential uptake, viz., the question of what counts as properly `understanding' a referring act in communication. In this inquiry, the particular line pursued goes back to Strawson's work on re-identification, but the immediate influence is that of Gareth Evans. It is argued that traditional and recent proposals fail to account for success in referential communication. A novel account is developed, resembling Evans' account in combining an external success condition with a Fregean one. But, in contrast to Evans, greater emphasis is placed on the action-enabling side of communication. Further topics discussed include the role of mental states in accounting for communication, the impact of re-identification on the understanding of referring acts, and Donnellan's referential/attributive distinction.
Readership: Philosophers, cognitive scientists and semanticists.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 172 pages
  • 167.64 x 248.92 x 12.7mm | 430.91g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 2000 ed.
  • XXVI, 172 p.
  • 0792359747
  • 9780792359746

Table of contents

Acknowledgements. Conventions. Introduction. 1. Characterizing Referential Communication. 2. Mental States in Referential Communication. 3. Re-Identification in Referential Communication. 4. Accounting for Mental Reference. 5. Traditional Accounts of Success in Referential Communication. 6. Evans' Account of Success in Referential Communication. 7. A New Account of Success in Referential Communication. References. Index.
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