Norms of Language

Paul Horwich

in Meaning

Published in print December 1998 | ISBN: 9780198238249
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597725 | DOI:
 Norms of Language

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It is often maintained (following Dummett and Kripke) that the normative aspects of language put a substantial constraint on our conceptions of meaning and truth—to the extent, some would say, of altogether precluding purely ’naturalistic’ or ’descriptive’ accounts of them. The purpose of this chapter is to establish that this is not so. It is not here denied that language is pervaded with normativity—with oughts and ought‐nots. But these phenomena are explained without supposing that truth and meaning are intrinsically normative notions. What is suggested, in other words, is that the evident normativity of language can give no reason to reject wholly non‐normative accounts of those notions—accounts such as the deflationary theory of truth and the use‐regularity theory of meaning.

Keywords: Dummett; Kripke; language; normativity; norms; use‐regularity

Chapter.  4439 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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