LINGUIST List 14.468

Mon Feb 17 2003

Books: Philosophy of Lang/Pragmatics: Gauker

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  1. dgw, Words without Meaning: Gauker

Message 1: Words without Meaning: Gauker

Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2003 15:29:04 +0000
From: dgw <>
Subject: Words without Meaning: Gauker

Title: Words without Meaning
Series Title: Contemporary Philosophical Monographs
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: MIT Press		 
Author: Christopher Gauker
Hardback: ISBN: 0262072424, Pages: 312, Price: $62
Paperback: ISBN: 0262571625, Pages: 312, Price: $25

According to the received view of linguistic communication, the
primary function of language is to enable speakers to reveal the
propositional contents of their thoughts to hearers. Speakers are able
to do this because they share with their hearers an understanding of
the meanings of words. Christopher Gauker rejects this conception of
language, arguing that it rests on an untenable conception of mental
representation and yields a wrong account of the norms of discourse.

Gauker's alternative starts with the observation that conversations
have goals and that the best way to achieve these goals depends on the
circumstances under which the conversation takes place. These goals
and circumstances determine a context of utterance quite apart from
the attitudes of the interlocutors. The fundamental norms of discourse
are formulated in terms of the conditions under which sentences are
assertible in such contexts.

Words without Meaning contains original solutions to a wide array of
outstanding problems in the philosophy of language, including the
logic of quantification, the logic of conditionals, the semantic
paradoxes, the nature of presupposition and implicature, and the
nature and attribution of beliefs.

Christopher Gauker is Professor of Philosophy at the University of

Lingfield(s): Philosophy of Language,
		Discourse Analysis,
Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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