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About the lekton: Response to Max Kölbel

Abstract : In earlier work on so-called moderate relativism, I distinguished three semantic levels: (i) the meaning of the sentence, (ii) the lekton (a typically 'relativized' proposition, true at some situations and false at others), and (iii) the Austinian proposition (the lekton together with a topic situation serving as circumstance of evaluation). The lekton can be construed as a property of situations or a type of situation. The Austinian proposition is true iff the topic situation is of the type corresponding to the lekton. In his contribution to this volume, Max Kölbel expresses a few worries about my framework. First, he finds the psychological considerations I offer in support of the intermediate notion (the lekton) insufficient: a properly semantic justification is needed, he argues (and he provides one). Second, he worries about my thesis that the lekton is 'fully articulated', because it conflicts with the contextualist claim (defended by myself in many writings) that 'what is said' is porous and hospitable to unarticulated constituents. Third, he discusses potentially unwelcome implications of my view in connection with faultless disagreement. In this response I consider the three issues raised by Kölbel, along with his suggestions for tackling them. I endorse Kölbel's semantic argument for the lekton while dismissing his objection to the claim of full articulatedness. Regarding faultless disagreement, I attempt to make sense of it from a classical expressivist standpoint.
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François Recanati. About the lekton: Response to Max Kölbel. Ilse Depraetere; Raf Salkie. Semantics and Pragmatics: Drawing a Line, 11, Springer, 2017, Logic, Argumentation and Reasoning, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-32247-6_13⟩. ⟨ijn_01446367⟩

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