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Meaning and Normativity - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Meaning and Normativity

Allan Gibbard


The concepts of meaning and mental content resist naturalistic analysis and this, Kripke’s Wittgenstein suggests, is because these concepts are normative. The book draws, motivates, and sketches an analysis of these concepts in terms of oughts, which in turn are explained through expressivism. Devices from metaethics thus inform philosophy of language. The oughts are primitive and subjective. Central devices for the project are drawn from Horwich but are taken normative; these include treating meaning through deflation and synonymy. Horwich’s naturalistic treatment yields Quine-like indetermin ... More

Keywords: meaning, mental content, normative, expressivism, metaethics, philosophy of language, synonymy, analyticity, metatheory of meaning, reference

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199646074
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646074.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Allan Gibbard, author
University of Michigan