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Being ForEvaluating the Semantic Program of Expressivism$
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Mark Schroeder

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199534654

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199534654.001.0001

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(p.16) 2 Expression
Being For

Mark Schroeder (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how the notion of expression should be understood within an expressivist theory. It is first argued that the key attractions of expressivism can be understood without any understanding of expression, in the process illustrating an argumentative technique important for expressivism: the Basic Expressivist Maneuver. The embedding problem is introduced, and used to show that expressivists need to treat sentential connectives as operating on mental states, rather than on propositions or truth values. This conclusion, along with other problems, is then used to dismiss common accounts of the expression relation in favour of the interpretation of expressivism as a kind of assertability semantics. And this, in turn, is used to draw the conclusion that ordinary descriptive sentences must inherit their truth conditions from the mental states that they express.

Keywords:   Basic Expressivist Maneuver, embedding problem, assertability semantics, truth conditions

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