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Herman Cappelen and Ernest Lepore

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552238
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577451 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

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A general and fundamental tension surrounds our concept of what is said. On the one hand, what is said (asserted, claimed, stated, etc.) by utterances of a significant range of sentences is highly context sensitive. More specifically, (Observation 1), what these sentences can be used to say depends on their contexts of utterance. On the other hand, speakers face no difficulty whatsoever in using many of these sentences to say (or make) the exact same claim, assertion, etc., across a wide array of contexts. More specifically, (Observation 2), many of the sentences in support of (Observation 1) can be used to express the same thought, the same proposition, across a wide range of different contexts.

Keywords: sentences; contexts of utterance; assertion; proposition; thought; observation

Article.  17150 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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