Showing and Meaning

Mitchell S. Green

in Self-Expression

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199283781
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191712548 | DOI:
 						Showing and Meaning

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This chapter is the first of two that relate self-expression to speaker meaning (also known as natural meaning). After further articulating the varieties of showing adumbrated in earlier chapters, three ways in which signals can show what they signal are explained. Two types of signals receive special attention, namely indices and handicaps, and a perspective from the evolutionary biology of communication (particularly as developed in the work of J. Maynard Smith and D. Harper) is introduced. Next, building on the work of W. Davis, it is argued that speaker meaning does not require communicative intentions. Instead, speaker meaning is explained as a matter of overtly manifesting an aspect of oneself, and certain speech acts are construed in these terms. Alternative conceptions of speaker meaning (from F. Vlach, S. Neale, W. Davis, and D. Sperber and D. Wilson) are then discussed, and the present approach is argued to be superior to each of them.

Keywords: speaker meaning; non-natural meaning; natural meaning; J. Maynard Smith; D. Harper; W. Davis; F. Vlach; S. Neale; D. Sperber; D. Wilson

Chapter.  15706 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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