What does talk of meaning mean? All thinking consists in natural happenings in the brain. Talk of meaning though, has resisted interpretation in terms of. Meaning and Normativity. Allan Gibbard*. In the past dozen years, phrases like ” the normativity of meanin have swept into the philosophy of language. Meaning and Normativity, by AllanGibbard. Oxford: Oxford University Press, , xiv + pp. ISBN ‐0‐19‐‐4 hb £

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There are grounds for taking a somewhat different view. What does it mean to say that Pierre’s sentence ‘Les chiens aboient’ is synonymous with my present sentence ‘Dogs bark’?

Subscriber Login Email Address. In French, “La niege est blanche” means that snow is white. Rather, the entailments are due in part to hidden background assumptions that are explicitly normative. No categories specified categorize this paper. In addition to these primary concerns, the book proposes a solution to the Kripkenstein paradox, presents a theory of the norms linking truth to belief, explores the relationships between expressivism and naturalism, argues for a set of views about the connection between believing propositions and accepting sentences, develops a story of the individuation of the objects of belief and thought, and responds to Mark Schroeder’s critique of expressivism.

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Being Realistic about Reasons T. Why does this support the normativity of meaning? Similarly, a single sentence counts as analytic if it ought to be accepted in all evidential circumstances and under all intelligible suppositions. Science Logic and Mathematics. Moreover, it appears possible to acquire significantly more sophisticated concepts, such as the concepts needed to represent dominance hierarchies and family relationships, by learning routines that don’t require assistance from language.

Gibbard thinks that there will often be more than one way of doing this, and he takes the “mass” example to illustrate this point. Meaning and Normativity, by Allan Gibbard. At various points he broadens this claim to apply to the representational contents of concepts and propositional attitudes.

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The second argument begins with the observation that ought-statements invariably follow from statements about meaning. The first reason makes its initial appearance in Chapter 1 and is developed in somewhat different ways in later sections of the book.

What is it for sentences that belong to different languages to be acceptable under the same supposition? Often, the relevant facts will allow us multiple ways of forming idealized pictures of use, and will therefore permit a number of ways of assigning meaning to an expression as equally valid.

Gibbard begins by explicating a relationship between sentences that he calls “analytic equivalence. The core of Gibbard’s answer is that being in the shoes of another agent is a matter of being in the agent’s epistemic shoes, but this core needs qualification, and the full answer has other parts. I don’t want to overemphasize the disagreement here.

Because of these two departures, and others, Gibbard often speaks of “plans” rather than plans. Oxford University Press, If we are to understand why divergences of these kinds have proved so hard to resolve, we must take them to be largely normative in character, anv different views as to what theories of meaning and what particular semantic hypotheses we ought to accept.

Composition as Identity Aaron J. Reflection shows that these proposals carry considerable baggage. Paul Boghossian has put forward a closely related objection. But a priori equivalence seems not to be enough, for it seems that sentences can fail to be analytically equivalent even though they bear the same relationship to bodies of evidence.

Rather, there are two physical quantities such that each one fulfills some of the things that Newton said about mass while failing to conform to others. Main Trends in Recent Philosophy: Use, Meaning and Normativity.

I mean here to be echoing a question raised in Quine pp. As Gibbard sees it, this pattern is repeated elsewhere. Perhaps, then, it is appropriate to envision two divergent approaches to meaning — one that focuses on the ordinary concept of meaning and seeks to spell out its content by conceptual analysis, and another that deploys a notion of meaning that is descriptive and explanatory in character, and is committed to investigating the informational and teleosemantic properties of expressions.


This is because they are normative: We know that more or less innate representational schemes can contain concepts that are reasonably high level, such as the concept of object and restricted versions of the concepts of causation, agency, and number.

It derives exclusively from the second and third premises, which are both explicitly normative. Mereology and Location Shieva Kleinschmidt.

Allan Gibbard, Meaning and Normativity – PhilPapers

Can Gibbard’s theory of meaning accommodate these observations? Accordingly, Gibbard thinks it necessary to invoke meaninh as well as relationships to actual and possible evidence, in defining analytic equivalence: I have been helped considerably by extensive conversations about the book, in the context of a reading group, with James Dreier, Alexandra King, and Joshua Schechter.

Expressivism has two prongs: It must be granted that the inference initially strikes us as valid. Adam Morton – – Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 1: Thus, Newtonian physics asserts that there is a single quantity, Newtonian mass, that fulfills both the principle that momentum equals mass times velocity and the principle that the mass of an entity is constant across frames of reference. Bring your chess board.


The concept of meaning is closely allied with the concepts of analyticity and synonymy. There is more than one way of understanding the alleged indeterminacy of reference.

We might try to account for them by viewing them as enthymemes. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. He tells us that it is exceptionless, in the sense that statements involving it hold across all meaming and for all agents.