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Meaning and Normativity$
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Allan Gibbard

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199646074

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646074.001.0001

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Normativity and Community

Normativity and Community

(p.25) 2 Normativity and Community
Meaning and Normativity

Allan Gibbard

Oxford University Press

We can explain how meaning might be normative in a way and yet dispositional by distinguishing properties from concepts. The concept of meaning is normative and non-naturalistic, whereas the property is natural and might be dispositional. Moore suggests that the concept good is non-naturalistic whereas the property of being good is natural. (The term ‘natural’ here does not mean of high explanatory primacy, as with David Lewis.) Whether meaning is solipsistic or communal concerns the property, whereas whether it is normative concerns the concept. A Kripke-like example illustrates this. Communal and solipsistic theorists of meaning disagree about what dispositions comprise meaning properties, and this issue is normative, a matter of what sentences to accept. One might want naturalistic concepts of meaning for some purposes and a normative concept for others.

Keywords:   meaning, concept, normative, natural, dispositional, solipsistic, communal, Kripke

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