Mood, Force, and Convention

Michael Dummett

in The Seas of Language

Published in print February 1996 | ISBN: 9780198236214
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597350 | DOI:
Mood, Force, and Convention

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Donald Davidson raised the issue of the link between mood, force, and convention. Because he does not make a distinction between the force of an utterance and the point of it, subsuming both under a general notion of use to which he put his utterance, Davidson attempts to delete any account of force from a theory of meaning, and associate it with the general procedure of divining someone else's intentions. This he cannot maintain, since, to grasp what it is for a sentence to carry a particular kind of force is to be master of a practice, of something that has to be learned and whose existence depends upon a common participation in it by the speakers of the language.

Keywords: assertion; Davidson; force; mood; theory of meaning; truth; Wittgenstein

Chapter.  12520 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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