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Does Linguistic Communication Rest on Inference?

Abstract : It is often claimed that, because of semantic underdetermination, one can determine the content of an utterance only by appealing to pragmatic considerations concerning what the speaker means, what his intentions are. This supports ‘inferentialism' : the view that, in contrast to perceptual content, communicational content is accessed indirectly, via an inference. As against this view, I argue that primary pragmatic processes (the pragmatic processes that are involved in the determination of truth-conditional content) need not involve an inference from premisses concerning what the speaker can possibly intend by his utterance. Indeed, they need not involve any inference at all : communication, I argue, is as direct as perception.
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Contributor : François Recanati <>
Submitted on : Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 7:22:08 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, April 3, 2010 - 8:08:02 PM


  • HAL Id : ijn_00000090, version 1



François Recanati. Does Linguistic Communication Rest on Inference?. Mind and Language, Wiley, 2002, 17 (1-2), pp.105-126. ⟨ijn_00000090⟩



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