Grice’s Theory of Conversational Inference

Jay David Atlas

in Logic, Meaning, and Conversation

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780195133004
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850181 | DOI:
Grice’s Theory of Conversational Inference

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Richard Rorty wrote The Linguistic Turn, a collection of essays that discusses the philosophical methods employed by both various empiricists during the war and the philosophers of “ordinary language” in pre- and post-war Oxford. A third linguistic turn is experienced in philosophy which originated from the thoughts of philosophers such as W. V. O. Quine and Noam Chomsky. This turn had a lighter impact than the first two turns, and it is perceived as having more sophistication and tentativeness, and being more responsive to the requirements of theory construction. P. H. Nowell-Smith's notion of “contextual implication” coincided with Paul Grice's idea of a “conversational implication”, and from this emerged the Gricean aspect of this said linguistic turn. This chapter attempts to discuss how Grice came up with such an idea and how this was incorporated into a philosophical language theory.

Keywords: The Linguistic Turn; third linguistic turn; Quine; Chomsky; theory construction; Paul Grice; contextual implication; conversational implication

Chapter.  19122 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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