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Pursuing Meaning$
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Emma Borg

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588374

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588374.001.0001

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Minimal Semantics and Psychological Evidence

Minimal Semantics and Psychological Evidence

(p.48) Chapter 2 Minimal Semantics and Psychological Evidence
Pursuing Meaning

Emma Borg

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the objection that minimal propositions are explanatorily inert. The objection has its clearest statement in the work of François Recanati and his requirement that semantic content satisfy his ‘Availability Principle’ (which requires semantic content to be intuitively available to interlocutors). The parallels between this objection and an extant worry for Grice's approach to meaning are explored, and a minimalist response to the problem is given. The chapter concludes by surveying the main points of contention between minimalism and its opponents, suggesting that objections to minimalism on the basis of claims about intuitive speech act content in fact fail to engage with minimalism as it is usually propounded.

Keywords:   Grice, semantics, psychological content, speech acts, Recanati, truth-conditional pragmatics

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