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The Concordia Philosophy Colloquium 2012-2013 Series
February 08, 2013 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Sponsored by: the Philosophy Department and SoPhiA through the Concordia Council on Student Life

with Prof. Ernie Lepore, Rutgers University

Theorists of language, whether from linguistics, philosophy, computer science, literary theory, etc,, are in a continual pursuit of meaning. But of course without a prior understanding of what counts as getting it right, it's not clear how to judge the ascriptions of meaning they all come up with. This paper is about that issue. The standard view for a long time now has been to attach meaning to indirect reporting. An assignment of a particular meaning p to a sentence is correct just in case speakers who use the sentence normal say that p. This view and its variations, I'll argue, are wrong. It is a mistake to tie meaning to speech act reports too tightly. In its place, we'll defend an account of meaning that views language as a game of coordination.

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