Chapter

Why Pleonastic Propositions? Content in Information and Explanation

Stephen Schiffer

in The Things We Mean

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780199257768
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602313 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199257760.003.0009
 Why Pleonastic Propositions? Content in Information and Explanation

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Pleonastic propositions play two important roles: first, we use them both to exploit the beliefs of others as a source of information about the world and to exploit the world as a source of information about the beliefs and desires of others; second, we use them to explain the behaviour of ourselves and others. Both roles are clarified and accounts are offered of how pleonastic propositions are able to play those roles. It is argued that no other things—neither non-pleonastic propositions nor linguistic entities of some kind—could play those roles as well as pleonastic propositions.

Keywords: explanation; information; linguistic entities; non-pleonastic propositions; pleonastic propositions

Chapter.  20930 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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