Is Meaning Normative?

Anandi Hattiangadi

in Oughts and Thoughts

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780199219025
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191711879 | DOI:
 Is Meaning Normative?

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This chapter argues that the sceptic goes wrong in assuming that meaning is normative. By considering and rejecting all of the most compelling reasons one might have for believing Normativity, it is argued that it is untenable. Since it is Normativity but not Norm-Relativity that engages the meta-ethical arguments against meaning facts, by rejecting Normativity, it is shown that the sceptic's only hope of a wide-ranging a priori argument against all possible candidate meaning facts fails. The chapter concludes that despite the failure of both reductionists and anti-reductionists to find the facts that constitute meaning, there is no reason to suppose that there is no fact of the matter to what we mean.

Keywords: sceptic; normativity; norm-relativity; meaning; truth; communication; community

Chapter.  12770 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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