Allan Gibbard

in Meaning and Normativity

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646074
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191741968 | DOI:

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Kripke’s Wittgenstein suggests that questions of meaning are normative. This would make the meaning of ‘meaning’ part of an expanded metaethics. The strong normativity thesis that the book elaborates is that the concept of meaning can be explained fully in naturalistic plus normative terms. The thesis that the concept of meaning is normative gets preliminary support in that certain oughts of meaning apply invariably, and so might be built into the concept of meaning, and attempts to capture the concept of meaning in purely naturalistic terms have failed. The book takes normative concepts, tentatively, to be explainable via expressivism: normative claims amount to something like plans. The structure of the book’s project is grandly circular, in that its aim is to elucidate a metatheory of meaning to be tested in its own terms.

Keywords: normative; naturalistic; meaning; metatheory of meaning; metaethics; concepts; plans; Kripke; expressivism

Chapter.  10489 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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