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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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The Normative Meaning Role

The Normative Meaning Role

(p.113) 6 The Normative Meaning Role
Meaning and Normativity

Allan Gibbard

Oxford University Press

This chapter sketches ways to characterize meanings of words by ought patterns that govern acceptance of sentences with those words. The meanings of the words in a sentence combine to explain which inferential oughts apply to the sentence and, in some cases, the evidential conditions under which one ought to accept or reject the sentence. Meanings are set by sequences of Carnap sentences that one ought to accept, often starting with ties to experience. Inferences are analytic if they hold under any intelligible supposition, and suppositions are intelligible if they are consistent with the Carnap sentences that give meaning to their. Proposals for characterizing subjunctive conditionals in normative terms are surveyed. In interpreting others, one takes their linguistic dispositions as grounding meaning-comprising ought patterns. Meanings are characterized both by ought patterns and by behavioral patterns; only the former are analytically meaning-determining.

Keywords:   acceptance, Carnap sentences, inferences, subjunctive conditional, linguistic dispositions, analytic

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