Adv Stdy Semantics & Pragmatic
Adv Stdy Semantics & Pragmatic LIN 837
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Pragmatics and the Philosophy of Language KENT BACH Many topics in the philosophy of language pertain to pragrnatics and there are many to which pragmatics pertains Ones of the rst sort in PHILOSOPHY OF PRAGMATICS include performatives speech acts communication conversational implicature and the question of how to distinguish pragmatic from semantic matters Topics of the second sort in APPLIED PRAGMATICS concern various terms distinctions and problems of philosophical interest Our survey of them will illustrate how certain seemingly semantic problems can be resolved by enforcing a cogent semanticpragmatic distinction for in many cases apparent matters of meaning turn out to be matters of use 0 Brief Background During the rst half of the twentieth century philosophy of language was generally concerned less with language use than with meanings of linguistic expressions Indeed meanings were abstracted from the linguistic items that have them and indicative sentences were often equated with statements which in turn were equated with propositions Although Frege the founder of modern philosophy of language noted various respects in which there is more to the total signification of an utterance than the thought it expresses he was mainly concerned with the latter And it is no exaggeration to say that such philosophers as Russell and the early Wittgenstein paid only lip service to natural language never mind its use for they were more interested in deep and still daunting problems about representation which they hoped to solve by studying the properties of ideal logically perfect languages in which forms of sentences mirror the forms of what sentences symbolize Russell with his logical atomism and Wittgenstein with his picture theory of meaning neglected nonassertive uses of language as did philosophers generally As Austin complains at the beginning of H ow to Do Things with Words it was assumed by philosophers he had the logical positivists in mind like Schlick Camap and Ayer that the business of a sentence can only be to describe some state of affairs or to state some fact which it must do either truly or falsely 1962 p 1 Austin and the later Wittgenstein changed all that Austin observed that there are many uses of language which have the linguistic appearance of factstating but are really quite different Explicit performatives like You re fired and I quit are not used to make mere statements And the Wittgenstein of the Philosophical Investigations 1953 rebelling against his former self swapped the picture metaphor for the tool metaphor and came to think of language not as a system of representation but as a system of devices for engaging in various sorts of social activity Don t ask for the meaning ask for the use he urged Here he went too far for there is good reason to separate the theory of linguistic meaning semantics from the theory of language use pragmatics not that they are unconnected We can distinguish sentences considered in abstraction from their use and the acts speakers or writers perform in using them We can distinguish what sentences mean from what speakers mean in using them Whereas Wittgenstein adopted a decidedly antitheoretical stance toward the whole subject Austin developed a systematic though largely taxonomic theory of language use And Grice developed a conception of meaning which though tied to use enforced a distinction between what linguistic expressions and what speakers mean in using them1 A early but excellent illustration of the importance of this distinction is provided by Moore s paradox socalled by Wittgenstein 1953 190 If you say Pigs swim but I don t believe it you are denying that you believe what you are asserting This contradiction seemed paradoxical because it is not logical in character That pigs swim if they do does not entail your believing it nor vice versa and there s no contradiction in MY saying Pigs swim but you don t believe it Your inconsistency arises not from what you are claiming but that you are claiming it That s what makes it a pragmatic contradiction Whereas semantic information is carried by linguistic items themselves pragmatic information is generated by or at least made relevant by the act of uttering them Thus phenomena to be considered in Part 1 including performatives illocutionary acts communicating and implicating are essentially pragmatic phenomena And the approach to various philosophical issues in Part II exploit this distinction often illustrating that apparent matters of linguistic meaning are really matters of use 1 Philosophy of Pragmatics 11 Speech acts and communication This section is intended to complement the Speech Acts and Implicature in Part I of this volume From a philosophical point of view the important questions concern three relationships between explicit performatives and illocutionary acts generally between illocutionary acts and communicative intentions and between what a speaker says and what he thereby intends to communicate A somewhat historical approach to these topics through the work of Austin Strawson and Grice will perhaps shed some conceptual light on the main issues they raise 111 Performatives and illocutionary force Paradoxical though it may seem there are certain things one can do just by saying that one is doing them One can apologize by saying I apologize promise by saying I promise and thank someone by saying Thank you These are examples of EXPLICIT PERFORMATIVE utterances statements in form but not in fact Or so thought their discoverer J L Austin 1962 who contrasted them with CONSTATIVES Performatives are utterances whereby we make explicit what we are doing2 Austin challenged the common philosophical assumption or at least pretense that indicative sentences are necessarily devices for making statements He maintained that for example an explicit promise is not and does not involve the statement that one is promising It is an act of a distinctive sort the very sort promising named by the performative verb Of course one can promise without doing so explicitly without using the performative verb promise but if one does use it one is according to Austin making explicit what one is doing but not stating that one is doing it3 Austin came to realize that explicit constatives function just like them After all a statement can be made by using a phrase like I assert or I predict just as a promise or a request can be made by means of I promise or I request In later chapters of H ow to Do Things with Words the distinction between constative and performative utterances is superseded by the one between locutionary and illocutionary acts and included among the latter along with promises requests etc are assertions predictions etc for which Austin retains the term constative The newer nomenclature takes into account the fact that illocutionary acts need not be performed explicitly 7 you don t have to use I suggest to make a suggestion or I apologize to apologize Even so it might seem that because of their distinctive selfreferential character the force of explicit performatives requires special explanation Indeed Austin supposed that illocutionary acts in general should be understood on the model of explicit performatives as when he made the mysterious remark that the use of a sentence with a certain illocutionary force is conventional in the sense that at least it could be made explicit by the performative formula 1962 91 Presumably he thought that explicit performative utterances are conventional in some more straightforward sense Since it is not part of the meaning of the word apologize that an utterance I apologize count as an apology rather than a statement perhaps there is some convention to that effect If there is presumably it is part of a general convention that covers all performative verbs But is there such a convention and is it needed to explain performativity Strawson 1964 argued that Austin was overly impressed with institutionbound cases In these cases there do seem to be conventions that utterances of certain forms an umpire s Out a legislator s Nay or ajudge s Overruled count as the performance of acts of certain sorts Likewise with certain explicit performatives as when under the appropriate circumstances a judge or clergyman says I pronounce you husband and wife which counts as joining a couple in marriage In such cases there are specific socially recognized circumstances in which a person with specific socially recognized authority may perform an act of a certain sort by uttering words of a certain form4 But Strawson argued that most illocutionary acts involve not an intention to conform to an institutional convention but an intention to communicate something to an audience Indeed as he pointed out there is no sense of the word conventional in which the use of a given sentence with a certain illocutionary force is necessarily conventional much less a sense having to do with the fact that this force can be made explicit by the performative formula In the relevant sense an act is conventional just in case it counts as an act of a certain sort because and only because of a special kind of institutional rule what Searle 1969 called a CONSTITUTIVE RULE to that effect However in contrast to the special cases Austin focused on Strawson points out the obvious fact that utterances can count as requests apologies or predictions as the case may be without the benefit of such a rule 5 It is perfectly possible to apologize for example without doing so explicitly without using the performative phrase I apologize That is the trouble with Austin s view of speech actsiand for that matter Searle s which attempts to explain illocutionary forces by means of constitutive rules for using FORCEINDICATING DEVICES such as performatives These theories can t explain the presence of illocutionary forces in the absence of such devices6 There is a super cial difference between apologizing explicitly by saying I apologize and doing it inexplicitly but there is no theoretically important difference Performativity requires no special explanation much less a special sort of convention7 Could such conventions be suitably generalized The variety of linguistic forms usable for the performance of a given sort of illocutionary act seems too openended to be explained by any convention or set of conventions that specifies just those linguistic forms whose utterance counts as the performance of an act of that sort8 112 Types of speech acts In this section we will spell out Austin s 139 quot quot between 39 quot y quot39 quot y and perlocutionary acts classify types of illocutionary acts and draw the further distinction between direct indirect and nonliteral illocutionary acts This taxonomizing will serve to pinpoint the locus and role of communicative intentions in the total speech act 1121 Locutionary illocutionary and perlocutionary acts When one acts intentionally generally one has a set of nested intentions For instance having arrived home without one s keys one might move one s finger in a certain way with the intention not just of moving one s finger in that way but with the further intentions of pushing a certain button ringing the doorbell arousing one s spouse and ultimately getting into one s house The single bodily movement involved in moving one s finger comprises a multiplicity of actions each corresponding to a different one of the nested intentions Similarly speech acts are not just acts of producing certain sounds Austin identifies three distinct levels of action beyond the act of utterance itself He distinguishes the act of saying something what one does IN saying it and what one does BY saying it and dubs these the LOCUTIONARY the ILLOCUTIONARY and the PERLOCUTIONARY act respectively Suppose for example that a bartender utters the words The bar will be closed in five minutes reportable with direct quotation He is thereby performing the locutionary act of saying that the bar ie the one he is tending will be closed in five minutes from the time of utterance where what is said is reported by indirect quotation notice that what the bartender is saying the content of his locutionary act is not fully determined by the words he is using for they do not specify the bar in question or the time of the utterance In saying this the bartender is performing the illocutionary act of informing the patrons of the bar s imminent closing and perhaps also the act of urging them to order a last drink Whereas the upshot of these illocutionary acts is understanding on the part of the audience perlocutionary acts are performed with the intention of producing a further effect The bartender intends to be performing the perlocutionary acts of causing the patrons to believe that the bar is about to close and of getting them to want and to order one last drink He is performing all these speech acts at all three levels just by uttering certain words 1122 Classifying illocutionary acts Utterances are generally more than just acts of communication They have more than illocutionary force When you apologize for example you may intend not merely to express your regret but also to seek forgiveness Seeking forgiveness is to be distinguished from apologizing even though the one utterance is the performance of an act of both types As an apology the utterance succeeds if it is taken as expressing regret for the deed in question as an act of seeking forgiveness it succeeds if forgiveness is thereby obtained Speech acts being perlocutionary as well as illocutionary generally have some ulterior purpose but they are distinguished primarily by their illocutionary type such as asserting requesting promising and apologizing which in turn may be distinguished by the type of attitude expressed The perlocutionary act is essentially a matter of trying to get the hearer to form some correlative attitude Here are some typical examples ILLOCUTIONARY ACT ATTITUDE EXPRESSED INTENDED HEARER ATTITUDE statement belief that p belief that p request desire for H to D intention to D promise firm intention to D belief that S will D apology regret for Ding forgiveness of S for Ding These are examples of the four major categories of communicative illocutionary acts which may be called CONSTATIVES DIRECTIVES COMMISSIVES and ACKNOWLEDGMENTS9 Here are some further examples of each type Constatives affirming alleging announcing answering attributing claiming classifying concurring con rming conjecturing denying disagreeing disclosing disputing identifying informing insisting predicting ranking reporting stating stipulating Directives advising admonishing asking begging dismissing excusing forbidding instructing ordering permitting requesting requiring suggesting urging warning Commissives agreeing betting guaranteeing inviting offering promising swearing volunteering Acknowledgments apologizing condoling congratulating greeting thanking accepting acknowledging an acknowledgment Conventional illocutionary acts the model for Austin s theory succeed not by recognition of intention but by conformity to convention That is an utterance counts as an act of a certain sort by virtue of meeting certain socially or institutionally recognized conditions for being an act of that sort They fall into two categories EFFECTIVES and VERDICTIVES depending on whether they effect an institutional state of affairs or merely make an official judgment as to an institutionally relevant state of affairs10 Here are a few examples of each Effectives banning bidding censuring dubbing enjoining firing indicting moving nominating pardoning penalizing promoting seconding sentencing suspending vetoing voting Verdictives acquitting assessing calling by an umpire or referee certifying convicting grading judging ranking rating ruling 1123 Direct indirect and nonliteral illocutionary acts What is said the content of a locutionary act does not determine the illocutionary acts being performed Just in shaking hands we can depending on the circumstances do any one of several different things introduce ourselves greet each other seal a deal congratulate or bid farewell so a given sentence can be used in a variety of ways For example I will call a lawyer could be used as a prediction a promise or a warning In general we can perform an illocutionary act 1 directly or indirectly by way of performing another illocutionary act 2 literally or nonliterally depending on how we are using our words and 3 explicitly or inexplicitly depending on whether we fully spell out what we mean These three contrasts are distinct and should not be confused The first two concern the relation between the utterance and the illocutionary acts thereby performed In INDIRECTION a single utterance is the performance of one illocutionary act by way of performing another For example we can make a request or give permission by way of making a statement say by uttering It s getting cold in here or I don t mind and we can make a statement or give an order by way of asking a question such as Is the Pope Catholic or Can you open the door When an illocutionary act is performed indirectly it is performed by way of performing some other one directly In the case of nonliteral utterances we do not mean what our words mean but something else instead With NONLITERALITY the force or the content of the illocutionary act being performed is not the one that would be predicted just from the meanings of the words being used as with likely utterances of My mind got derailed or You can stick that in your ear Occasionally utterances are both nonliteral and indirect For example one might utter I love the sound of your voice to tell someone nonliterally ironically that she can t stand the sound of his voice and thereby indirectly to ask him to stop singing Nonliterality and indirection are two wellknown ways in which the semantic content of a sentence can fail to determine the full force and content of the illocutionary act being performed in using the sentence They rely on the same sorts of processes that Grice 1975 discovered in connection with what he called CONVERSATIONAL IMPLICATURE which as is clear from Grice s examples is nothing more than the special case of nonliteral or indirect constatives made with the use of indicative sentences A few of Grice s examples illustrate nonliterality e g He was a little intoxicated but most of them are indirect statements e g There is a garage around the comer used to tell someone where to get gas and Mr X s command of English is excellent and his attendance has been regular used to give a weak recommendation These are all examples in which what is meant is not determined by what is said However Grice overlooks a different kind of case marked by the third contrast listed above There are many sentences whose standard uses are not strictly determined by their meanings but are not oblique implicatureproducing or figurative uses either For example if one s spouse says I will be home later she is likely to mean that she will be home later that night not merely at some time in the future In such cases what one means is what I call Bach 1994 an EXPANSION of what one says in that adding more words tonight in the example would have made what was meant fully explicit In other cases such as Jack is ready and Jill is late the sentence does not express a complete proposition There must be something which Jack is being claimed to be ready for and something which Jill is being claimed to be late to In these cases what one means is a COMPLETION ofwhat one says In both sorts of case no particular word or phrase is being used nonliterally and there is no indirection Both exemplify what I call conversational IMPLICITURE since part of what is meant is communicated not explicitly but implicitly by way of expansion or completion Completion and expansion are both processes whereby the hearer supplies missing portions of what is otherwise being expressed explicitly With completion a propositional radical is lled in and with expansion a complete but skeletal proposition is eshed out The character of the inference in these cases is distinct from that of the inference to the content of an indirect illocutionary act such as an implicature or the gurative content of a nonliteral utterance In these cases instead of building on what the speaker has made explicit the hearer infers a distinct proposition 113 Communication and speech acts The taxonomy laid out above assumes that Strawson was right to claim that most illocutionary acts are performed not with an intention to conform to a convention but with an audience directed communicative intention But why are illocutionary acts generally communicative and what exactly is a communicative intention 1131 Communicative speech acts Pretheoretically we think of an act of communication linguistic or otherwise as an act of expressing oneself This rather vague idea can be made more precise if we get more specific about what is expressed Take the case of an apology If you utter I m sorry I forgot your birthday and intend this as an apology you are expressing regret for something in this case for forgetting the person s birthday An apology just IS the act of verbally expressing regret for and thereby acknowledging something one did that might have harmed or at least bothered the hearer It is communicative because it is intended to be taken as expressing a certain attitude in this case regret It succeeds as such if it is so taken in which case one has made 10 oneself understood Using a special device such as the performative I apologize may of course facilitate understanding 7 understanding is correlative with communicating 7 but in general this is unnecessary Communicative success is achieved if the speaker chooses his words in such a way that the hearer will under the circumstances of utterance recognize his communicative intention So for example if you spill some beer on someone and say Oops in the right way your utterance will be taken as an apology If each type of illocutionary act is distinguishable by the type of attitude expressed there is no need to invoke the notion of convention to explain how it can succeed It succeeds if the hearer recognizes the attitude being expressed such as a belief in the case of a statement and a desire in the case of a request11 Any further effect that it has on the hearer such as being believed or being complied with or even being taken as sincere is not essential to its being a statement or a request Accordingly we need to distinguish the success of a speech act as an illocutionary act and as a perlocutionary act As a perlocutionary act a statement or an apology is successful if the audience accepts it but illocutionary success does not require that It requires only what is necessary for the statement or the apology to be made As Strawson explains the effect relevant to communicative success is understanding or what Austin called UPTAKE rather than a further perlocutionary effect such as belief desire or even action on the part of the hearer12 Indeed an utterance can succeed as an act of communication even if the speaker doesn t possess the attitude he is expressing and even if the hearer doesn t take him to possess it13 Communication is one thing sincerity another Sincerity is actually 14 possess1ng the attitude one is express1ng 1132 Communicative intentions As Strawson argued illocutionary acts other than those performed in special institutional contexts are performed not with an intention to conform to a convention but with a communicative intention But what sort of intention is that In Meaning Grice 1957 characterized the distinctively reflexive character of communicative intentions by proposing that a speaker means something by his utterance only if he intends his utterance to produce gt715 some effect in an audience by means of the recognition of this intention To appreciate this idea consider the following games which involve something like linguistic communication 11 In the game of Charades one player uses gestures and other bodily movements to help the other guess what she has in mind Something like the re exive intention involved in communication operates here for part of what the first player intends the second player to take into account is the very fact that the first player intends her gestures etc to enable him to guess what she has in mind Nothing like this goes on in the game of 20 Questions where the second player uses answers to yesorno questions to narrow down the possibilities of what the first player has in mind Here the only cooperation required is honest answers on the part of the first player Compare 20 Questions with the following game of tacit coordination the first player selects and records an item in a certain specified category such as a letter of the alphabet a liquid or a city the second player has one chance to guess what it is Each player wins if and only if the second player guesses right without any help Now what counts as guessing right depends entirely on what the first player has in mind and that depends entirely on what she thinks the second player taking into account that she wants him to guess right will think she wants him to think The second player guesses whatever he thinks she wants him to think Experience has shown that when players use the above categories they almost always both pick the letter A water and the city in which they are located It is not obvious what all these correct choices have in common each one stands out in a certain way from other members of the same category but not in the same way For example being first among letters of the alphabet being the most common among liquids and being local are quite different ways of standing out It is still not clear in the many years since the question was first raised just what makes something uniquely salient in such situations 16 One suggestion is that it is the first item in the category that comes to mind but this won t always be right since what first comes to the mind of one player may not be what first comes to the mind of the other Whatever the correct explanation of the meeting of the minds in successful communication the basic insight underlying Grice s idea of reflexive intentions is that communication is like a game of tacit coordination the speaker intends the hearer to reason in a certain way partly on the basis of being so intended That is the hearer is to take into account that he is intended to figure out the speaker s communicative intention The meaning of the words uttered provides the input to this inference but what they mean does not determine what the speaker means even if he means precisely what his words means they don t determine that he is speaking literally What is loosely called CONTEXT ie a set of MUTUAL CONTEXTUAL BELIEFS Bach 12 and Hamish 1979 5 encompasses whatever other considerations the hearer is to take into account in ascertaining the speaker s intention partly on the basis that he is intended to do so In general the success of an act has nothing to do with anyone s recognizing the intention with which it is performed You won t succeed in standing on your head because someone recognizes your intention to do so But an act of communication is distinctive in this respect It is successful if the intention with which it is performed is recognized by the audience partly on the basis that it is intended to be recognized A communicative intention is re exive in the sense discovered by Grice its ful llment consists in its recognition The intention includes as part of its content that the audience recognize this very intention by taking into account the fact that they are intended to recognize it A communicative intention is thus selfreferential or re exive An act of communication is successful if whoever it is directed to recognizes the intention with which it is performed When Grice characterized meaning something as intending one s utterance to produce some effect in an audience by means of the recognition of this intention he wasn t very specify about the kind of effect to be produced But since meaning something in Grice s sense is communicating the relevant effect is as both Strawson 1964 and Searle 1969 recognized understanding on the part of the audience Moreover an act of communication as an essentially overt act just IS the act of expressing an attitude which the speaker may or may not actually possess Since the condition on its success is that one s audience infer the attitude from the utterance it is clear why the intention to be performing such an act should have the re exive character pinpointed by Grice Considered as an act of communication rather than anything more it is an attempt simply to get one s audience to recognize partly on the basis of being so intended that a certain attitude is being expressed One is as it were putting a certain attitude on the table The success of any further act has as its prerequisite that the audience recognize this attitude Communication aims at a meeting of the minds not in the sense that the audience is to think what the speaker thinks but only in the sense that a certain attitude toward a certain proposition is to be recognized as being put forward for consideration What happens beyond that is more than communication17 13 1133 Intention inference and relevance Communication succeeds if the hearer identi es the speaker s communicative intention in the way intended Since what the speaker says the content of his locutionary act does not determine the force or content of the illocutionary acts the speaker is performing ie what the speaker is trying to communicate guring that out requires inference on the part of his audience Now to describe the general character of communication is not to explain how it succeeds in particular cases As Sperber and Wilson 1986 20 6970 have rightly pointed out Grice and his followers have not supplied much in the way of psychological detail about how the process of understanding utterances works or I would add about the process of producing utterances Providing such detail would require a general theory of realworld reasoning and a theory of salience in particular Research in the psychology of reasoning has identi ed many sorts of limitations in and constraints on human reasoning and AI models of welldemarcated tasks have been developed but a general predictive and explanatory theory is not even on the horizon And according to game theorists I have consulted although the notion of salience ever since its introduction by Schelling 1960 has continued to be relied upon in theorizing there is still no theory of salience no general account of what it is in Virtue of which certain items in the perceptual cognitive or conversational environment are salient much less mutually salient And yet our ability to communicate to express propositional attitudes as well as our correlative ability to recognize the communicative intentions of others exploits such information Grice made progress in explaining what this ability involves as in his account of conversational implicature see Horn this volume18 such as when a says of an expensive dinner It was edible and implicates that it was mediocre at best Grice proposed a Cooperative Principle and several maxims which he named in homage to Kant Quantity Quality Relation and Manner Kant s Modality His account of implicature explains how ostensible Violations of them can still lead to communicative success Although Grice presents them as guidelines for how to communicate successfully Ithink they are better construed as presumptions made in the course of the strategic inference involved in communication they should not be construed as they often are as sociological generalizations Because of their potential clashes they should not be Viewed as comprising a decision procedure20 They provide different dimensions of considerations that the speaker may reasonably to be taken as 14 intending the hearer to take into account on in guring the speaker s communicative intention A speaker can say one thing and manage to mean something else as with Nature abhors a vacuum or something more as with Is there a doctor in the house by exploiting the fact that he may be presumed to be cooperative in particular to be speaking truthfully informatively relevantly and otherwise appropriately The listener relies on this presumption to make a contextually driven inference from what the speaker says to what he means If taking the utterance at face value is incompatible with this presumption one may suppose that he intends one to figure out what he does mean by searching for an explanation of why he said what he said These maxims or presumptions do not concern what should be conveyed at a given stage of a conversation When someone says something to you you do not consider what among everything possible is the most relevant and informative thing he could have said consistent with what he has strong evidence for Nor should you Unless information of a very specific sort is required say in answer to a whquestion there will always be many things any one of which a speaker could have tried to convey which would have contributed more to the conversation than what he was in fact trying to convey Rather these maxims or presumptions frame how the hearer is to figure out what the speaker is trying to convey GIVEN the sentence he is uttering and what he is saying in uttering it Your job is to consider what he said and how he said it and determine what he could have been trying to convey given that Why did he say believe rather than know is rather than seems soon rather than in an hour warm rather than hot has the ability to rather than can Sperber and Wilson 1986 offer RELEVANCE THEORY as an alternative to Grice s inferential account see Wilson s and Carston s chapters in this volume They eschew such allegedly problematic notions as re exive intention mutual belief and maxims of conversation They suggest that the PRINCIPLE OF RELEVANCE and THE PRESUMPTION OF OPTIMAL RELEVANCE can pick up the slack where relevance is a matter of maximizing contextual effects and minimizing processing effort Interestingly however when they take up specific examples in detail they rely considerations about what the speaker might reasonably be expected to intend At times they slide from relevance in their technical sense which is a property of propositions relative to contexts to relevance in the ordinary sense Such considerations and relevance in the ordinary sense are central to the Gricean picture of the 15 hearer s inference And the inference to the speaker s communicative intention essentially involves supposition that this intention is to be recognized That s what makes relevance relevant On the other hand Sperber and Wilson are right to complain that reconstructions of hearers inferences however much they ring true will inevitably appear ad hoc in the absence of an explanation of how it is that certain information emerges as mutually salient or in Schelling s phrase obviously obvious so that it might be exploited by the hearer For that very reason to suggest that processing takes place only if it is worth the effort and is a matter of settling on the first hypothesis that satisfies the principle of relevance Sperber and Wilson 1986 201 does not say much about this hypothesis is arrived at21 Equally to say that inference is to an unopposed plausible explanation of the speaker s communicative intention Bach and Hamish 1979 92 is not to say how THAT is arrived at They speak of optimizing and we speak of default reasoning but to speak of either is not to say with any specificity how these processes work Nor is it to explain how or why certain thoughts such as hypotheses about speakers intentions come to mind when they do No one is prepared to explain that 114 Saying There are important issues pertaining to the act of saying the locutionary level of speech act and the correlative notion of what is said These include the need for the notion of locutionary act the question of how much is included in what is said and the category of conventional implicature which complicates Grice s account of saying 1141 What is said and what isn t The notion of saying is needed for describing three kinds of cases where the speaker means what he says and something else as well implicature and indirect speech acts generally where the speaker says one thing and means something else instead nonliteral utterances and where the speaker says something and doesn t mean anything22 As Austin defines it an act of saying a LOCUTIONARY act is the act of using words as belonging to a certain vocabulary and as conforming to a certain grammar with a certain more or less definite sense and reference 1962 9293 And what is said according to Grice is closely related to the conventional meaning of the sentence uttered and must correspond to the elements of the sentence their order and their syntactic character 1989 87 Although what is said is limited by this 15 16 SYNTACTIC CORRELATION CONSTRAINT because of ambiguity and indexicality it is not identical to what the sentence means If the sentence is ambiguous usually only one of its conventional linguistic meanings is operative in a given utterance double entendre is a special case And linguistic meaning does not determine what on a given occasion indexicals like she this and now are used to refer to see Levinson this volume If someone utters She wants this book he is saying that a certain woman wants a certain book even though the words do not specify which woman and which book So along with linguistic information the speaker s semantic disambiguating and referential intentions are needed to determine what is said Grice gives the impression that the distinction between what is said and what is implicated is exhaustive However it seems that irony metaphor and other kinds of nonliteral utterances are not cases of implicature since they are cases of saying one thing and meaning something else rather than meaning one thing and meaning something else as well Moreover as mentioned earlier Grice neglected the phenomenon of impliciture what Sperber and Wilson call EXPLICATURE How does what is said fit in with that In impliciture the speaker means something that goes beyond sentence meaning ambiguity and indexicality aside without implicating anything or using any expressions figuratively For example if your child comes crying to you with a minor injury and you say to him assuringly You re not going to die you don t mean that he will never die but merely that he won t die from that injury And if someone wants you to join them for dinner and you say with regret I ve already eaten you mean that you have eaten dinner that evening not just at some time previously In both cases you do not mean precisely what you are saying but something more speci c23 Now several of Grice s critics have pointed out that implicitures this is my term not theirs are not related closely enough to conventional meaning to fall under Grice s notion of what is said but that they are too closely related to count as implicatures Recanati 1989 suggests that the notion of what is said should be extended to cover such cases but clearly he is going beyond Grice s understanding of what is said as corresponding to the constituents of the sentence and their syntactic arrangement The syntactic correlation constraint entails that if any element of what the speaker intends to convey does not correspond to any element of the sentence he is uttering it is not part of what he is SAYING Of course it may correspond to what he is asserting but I am not using my to mean assert In the jargon of speech act theory 17 saying is locutionary not illocutionary Others speak of implicitures as the explicit content of an utterance Sperber and Wilson s neologism explicature 1986 p 182 for this inbetween category is rather misleading in this respect It is a cognate of explicate not explicit and making something explicit that isn t explicating isn t the same thing as making it explicit in the first place That s why I prefer the neologism impliciture since in these cases part of what is meant is communicated only implicitly24 1142 Conventional implicature Grice is usually credited with the discovery of conventional implicature but it was actually Frege s 1892 idea 7 Grice 1975 merely labeled it They both claimed that the conventional meanings of certain terms such as but and still make contributions to the total import of a sentence without bearing on its truth or falsity In She is poor but she is honest for example the contrast between being poor and being honest due to the presence of but is according to Grice 1961 127 implied as distinct from being stated Frege and Grice merely appeal to intuition in suggesting that the conventional contributions of such terms do not affect what is said in utterances of sentences in which they occur Grice observes that conventional J quot are A 39 39 39 but not 39 39 39 but this cannot serve as atest for their presence It does distinguish them from conversational implicatures which are cancelable but not detachable except for those induced by exploiting the maxim of manner which depend on how one puts what one says and from entailments which are neither cancelable nor detachable However detachability is not an independent test If a supposed implicature really were part of what is said one could not leave it out and still say the same thing To use and rather than but for example would be to say less I have argued previously Bach 1999b that the category of conventional implicature needlessly complicates Grice s distinction between what is said and what is implicated and that apparent cases of conventional implicature are really instances of something else If we abandon the common assumption that indicative sentences express at most one proposition we can see that expressions like but and still do contribute to what is said provided that can include more than one proposition In the above example the additional proposition concerns the contrast between poverty and honesty The insistence that this proposition is merely 18 implicated stems from the fact that the intuition that the utterance can be true even if this proposition is false is sensitive only to the main proposition being expressed Grice also suggested that conventional implicature is involved in the performance of noncentral speech acts 1989 p 122 He had in mind the use of such expressions as these after all anyway at any rate besides be that as it may by the way first of all nally frankly furthermore however if you want my opinion in conclusion indeed in other words moreover now that you mention it on the other hand otherwise speaking for myself strictly speaking to begin with to digress to oversimplify to put it mildly25 These are often used to comment on the very utterance in which they occur 7 its force point character or the role in the discourse However it seems to me that it is not accurate to call these secondorder speech acts implicatures In uttering Frankly the dean is a moron for example you are not implying that you are speaking frankly you are saying something about providing a gloss or commentary on your utterance As a result the contribution of an utterance modifier does not readily figure in an indirect report of what someone said e g He said that frankly the dean is a moron Utterance modifiers are in construction syntactically but not semantically with the clauses they introduce 12 The semantic pragmatic distinction Historically the semanticpragmatic distinction has been formulated in various ways26 These formulations have fallen into three main types depending on which other distinction the semanticpragmatic distinction was thought most to correspond to o linguistic conventional meaning vs use 0 truthconditional vs nontruthconditional meaning 0 context independence vs context dependence In my view none of these distinctions quite corresponds to the semanticpragmatic distinction The trouble with the first is that there are expressions whose literal meanings are related to use such as the utterance modifiers mentioned above It seems that the only way to specify their semantic contribution when they occur initially or are otherwise set off is to specify how they are to be used The second distinction is inadequate because some expressions have meanings that do not contribute to truthconditional contents Paradigmatic are expressions like Alas Goodbye and Wow but utterance modifiers also illustrate this as do such linguistic 19 devices as it clefts and wh clefts which pertain to information structure not information content The third distinction neglects the fact that some expressions notably indexicals are contextsensitive Also there are two common but fundamentally different conceptions of semantics One takes semantics to be concerned with the linguistic meanings of expressions words phrases sentences On this conception sentence semantics is a component of grammar It assigns meanings to sentences as a function of the meanings of their semantically simple constituents as supplied by their lexical semantics and their constituent structure as provided by their syntax The other conception takes semantics to be concerned with the truthconditional contents of sentences or alternatively of utterances of sentences and with the contributions expressions make to the truthconditional contents of sentences in which they occur The intuitive idea underlying this conception is that the meaning of a sentence the information it carries imposes a condition on what the world must be like in order for the sentence to be true Now the linguistic and the truthconditional conceptions of semantics would come to the same thing if in general the linguistic meanings of sentences determined their truth conditions and they all had truth conditions Many sentences though are imperative or interrogative rather than declarative These do not have truth conditions but compliance or answerhood conditions instead Even if only declarative sentences are considered in a great many cases the linguistic meaning of a sentence does not uniquely determine a truth condition One reason for this is ambiguity lexical or structural The sentence may contain one or more ambiguous words or it may be structurally ambiguous Or the sentence may contain indexical elements Ambiguity makes it necessary to relativize the truth condition of a declarative sentence to one of its senses and indexicality requires relativization to a context Moreover some sentences such as Jack was ready and Jill had enough though syntactically wellformed are semantically incomplete That is the meaning of such a sentence does not fully determine a truth condition even after ambiguities are resolved and references are fixed Bach 1994 Sperber amp Wilson 1986 Syntactic completeness does not guarantee semantic completeness 121 Other pertinent distinctions It is a platitude that what a sentence means generally doesn t determine what a speaker means in uttering it The gap between linguistic meaning and speaker meaning is said to be filled by 20 context what the speaker means somehow depends on context or at least context makes it clear what the speaker means But there are two quite different sorts of context and they play quite different roles What might be called WIDE CONTEXT concerns any contextual information that is relevant to determining in the sense of ascertaining the speaker s intention NARROW CONTEXT concerns information speci cally relevant to determining in the sense of providing the semantic values of contextsensitive expressions and morphemes of tense and aspect Wide context does not literally determine anything 27 It is the body of mutually evident information that speaker and hearer exploit the speaker to make his communicative intention evident and the hearer taking himself to be intended to to identify that intention There are also distinctions to be drawn with respect to the terms UTTERANCE and INTERPRETATION An utterance can be the act of uttering a sentence or the sentence uttered Strictly speaking it is the sentence that is uttered the type not the token that has semantic properties The act of uttering the sentence has pragmatic properties The notion of the content of an utterance of a sentence has no independent theoretical significance There is just the content of the sentence the speaker is uttering which being semantic is independent of the speaker s communicative intention and the content of the speaker s communicative intention As for the term interpretation it can mean either the formal compositional determination by the grammar of a language of the meaning of a sentence or the psychological process whereby a person understands a sentence or an utterance of a sentence Using the phrase utterance interpretation indiscriminately as often happens can only confound the issues For example talking about the interpretation of an utterance in a context rather than of a sentence with respect to a context leads to paradox An oral utterance of I am not speaking or a waking utterance of I am asleep cannot fail to be false and yet the sentences themselves are not necessarily false Relative to me the first is true whenever I am not speaking and the second is true whenever I am asleep If a grammar maps form on to meaning presumably the semantics of a sentence is a projection of its syntax That is its semantic content is interpreted syntactic structure determined compositionally as a function of the contents of the sentence s constituents and their syntactic relations This leaves open the possibility that some sentences do not express complete propositions and that some sentences are typically used to convey something more 20 21 specific than what is predictable from their compositionally determined contents Also insofar as sentences are tensed and contain indexicals their semantic contents are relative to contexts in the narrow sense In sum we should keep in mind the following distinctions all of which are relevant to the semanticpragmatic distinction to be drawn below 0 between a sentence and an utterance of a sentence 0 between what a sentence means and what it is used to communicate 0 between what a sentence expresses relative to a context and what a speaker expresses communicates by uttering the sentence in a context 0 between the grammatical determination of what a sentence means and the hearer s inferential determination of what a speaker means in uttering the sentence 122 Drawing the semantic pragmatic distinction A semanticpragmatic distinction can be drawn with respect to various things such as ambiguities implications presuppositions interpretations knowledge processes rules and principles I take it to apply fundamentally to types of information Semantic information is information encoded in what is uttered 7 these are stable linguistic features of the sentence 7 together with any extralinguistic information that provides semantic values to context sensitive expressions in what is uttered Pragmatic information is extralinguistic information that arises from an actual act of utterance and is relevant to the hearer s determination of what the speaker is communicating Whereas semantic information is encoded in what is uttered pragmatic information is generated by or at least made relevant by the act of uttering it 28 This way of characterizing pragmatic information generalizes Grice s point that what a speaker implicates in saying what he says is carried not by what he says but by his saying it and perhaps by his saying it in a certain way 1989 39 It could easily be maintained that disputes about the semanticpragmatic distinction are merely terminological The main thing is to choose coherent terminology and to apply it consistently So for example clearly there are as illustrated above aspects of linguistic meaning semantics that pertain to use Does this threaten our conception of the semantic pragmatic distinction Not at all These aspects of linguistic meaning like any others are encoded by linguistic expressions 7 they just don t contribute to the truthconditional contents 21 22 of sentences in which they occur But the fact that they pertain to use does not make them pragmatic As aspects of linguistic meaning they belong to expressions independently of whether those expressions are used Of course when such an expression is used it presence contributes to what the speaker is doing in uttering the sentence containing it 123 Some consequences of the semantic pragmatic distinction Our formulation has certain interesting theoretical implications which can only be sketched here For one thing it helps explain why what Grice called GENERALIZED conversational implicature is a pragmatic phenomenon even though it involves linguistic regularities of sorts They are cancelable hence not part of what is said and otherwise have all the features of PARTICULARIZED implicatures except that they are characteristically associated with certain forms of words That is special features of the context of utterance are not needed to generate them and make them identifiable As a result they do not have to be worked out step by step in the way that particularized implicatures have to be Nevertheless they can be worked out A listener unfamiliar with the pattern of use could still figure out what the speaker meant This makes them standardized but not conventionalized30 Also the semanticpragmatic distinction as understood here undermines any theoretical role for the notion of presupposition whether construed as semantic or pragmatic see Atlas this volume A SEMANTIC PRESUPPOSITION is a precondition for truth or falsity But as argued long ago by Stalnaker 1974 and by Boer and Lycan 1975 there is no such thing it is either entailment or pragmatic And socalled PRAGMATIC PRESUPPOSITIONS come to nothing more than preconditions for performing a speech act successfully and felicitously and mutual contextual beliefs taken into account by speakers in forming communicative intentions and by hearers in recognizing them In some cases they may seem to be conventionally tied to particular expressions or constructions e g to definite descriptions or to clefts but they are not really Rather given the semantic function of a certain expression or construction there are certain constraints on its reasonable or appropriate use As Stalnaker puts it a pragmatic account makes it possible to explain some particular facts about presuppositions in terms of general maxims of rational communication rather than in terms of complicated and ad hoc hypotheses about the semantics of particular words and particular kinds of constructions 19741999 48 22 23 Finally our formulation of the semanticpragmatic distinction throws a monkey wrench into the conception of the semantic content of a sentence as its CONTEXTCHANGE POTENTIAL This conception adopted by many formal semanticists eg Heim 1983 treats semantic content dynamically as the ability of a sentence when uttered to alter the context in which it is uttered or where what Lewis 1979 calls accommodation is required to change the context retroactively In my view however this conception con ates semantic content with pragmatic effect It is in virtue of the fact not of what the speaker says but that he says it that the wide context is changed in a certain way Context change is the resultant of what is said and saying it in the context These examples illustrate not only the importance of the semanticpragmatic distinction but the import of Grice s pragmatic strategy of trying to explain linguistic phenomena in as general a way as possible of appealing to independently motivated principles and processes of rational communication rather than to special features of particular expressions and constructions 2 Applied Pragmatics In this part we will survey an assortment of philosophically important expressions and problems whose treated is aided by pragmatic considerations Needless to say the issues here are more complex and contentious than our discussion can indicate But at least these examples will illustrate how to implement what Stalnaker has aptly described as the classic Gricean strategy to try to use simple truisms about conversation or discourse to explain regularities that seem complex and unmotivated when they are assumed to be facts about the semantics of the relevant expressions 1999 p 8 21 The speech act and assertion fallacies The distinction between what an expression means and how it is used had a direct impact on many of claims made by socalled ordinarylanguage philosophers In ethics for example it was and sometimes still is supposed that sentences containing words like good and right are used to express affective attitudes such as approval or disapproval hence that such sentences are not used to make statements and that questions of value and morals are not matters of fact This line of argument is fallacious As Moore points out although one expresses approval or disapproval by making a value judgment it is the act of making the 23 24 judgment not the content of the judgment that implies that one approves 1942 54045 Sentences used for ethical evaluation such as Loyalty is good and Cruelty is wrong are no different in form from other indicative sentences which whatever the status of their contents are standardly used to make statements This leaves open the possibility that there is something fundamentally problematic about their contents Perhaps such statements are factually defective and despite syntactic appearances are neither true nor false However this is a metaphysical issue about the status of the properties to which ethical predicates purport to refer It is not the business of the philosophy of language to determine whether or not goodness or wrongness are real properties or whether or not the goodness of loyalty and the wrongness of cruelty are matters of fact The line of argument sketched above commits what Searle calls the SPEECH ACT FALLACY 1969 136141 He gives further examples each involving a speech act analysis of a philosophically important word Not only do these analyses claim that true is used to endorse or concede statements Strawson know to give guarantees Austin and probably to qualify commitments Toulmin they claim that those uses constitute the meaning of these words In each case the fallacy is the same identifying what the word is typically used to do with its semantic content Searle also exposes the ASSERTION FALLACY 1969 14146 whereby conditions of making an assertion are confused with what is asserted For example it was fallaciously argued on the grounds that because one would not assert that one believes something if one was prepared to assert that one knows it that knowing does not entail believing Similarly it was argued that when one does something that involves no effort or difficulty one does not try to do it Grice 1961 identified the same fallacy in a parallel argument due to Austin about words like seems appears and looks One might argue that since you would not say that a table looks old unless you or your audience doubted or were even prepared to deny that the chair was old the statement that the table looks old entails that its being old is doubted or denied This argument is clearly fallacious since it draws a conclusion about entailment from a premise about conditions on appropriate assertion Similarly you wouldn t SAY that someone tried to stand up if doing it involved no effort or difficulty but this doesn t show that trying to do something entails that there was effort or difficulty in doing it You can misleadingly imply something without its being entailed by what you say 24 25 22 Logical expressions In Logic and Conversation undoubtedly the philosophy article with the greatest impact on pragmatics Grice 1975 introduces his theory of conversational implicature by considering whether the semantics of logically important expressions such as certain sentential connectives and quantificational phrases are captured by the logical behavior of their formal counterparts For example are the terms and or and z39fadequately represented by amp or v 3 or gt Applying Grice s theory to these terms suggests that apparent difficulties with their usual logical renderings can be explained away pragmatically 221 and Pragmatic considerations exploit the fact that in ordinary speech not just what a sentence means but the fact that someone utters it plays a role in determining what its utterance conveys For example there is a difference between what is likely to be conveyed by utterances of 1 and 2 and the difference is due to the order of the conjuncts 1 Henry had sex and got infected 2 Henry got infected and had sex Yet and is 39 quotJ 39 quot J by the J39 quot EL and in logic the order of conjuncts doesn t matter However it seems that 1 and 2 have the same semantic content and that it is not the meaning of and but the fact that the speaker utters the conjuncts in one order rather than the other that explains the difference in how each utterance is likely to be taken But then any suggestion of temporal order or even causal connection is not a part of the literal content of the sentence but is merely implicit in its utterance Levinson 2000 12227 One piece of evidence for this is that such a suggestion may be explicitly canceled Grice 1989 39 One could utter 1 or 2 and continue but not in that order without contradicting what one has just said One would be merely canceling any suggestion due to the order of presentation that the two events occurred in that order However it has been argued that passing Grice s cancelability test does not suffice to show the differences between the two sentences above is not a matter of linguistic meaning Cohen 1971 and Carston 1988 have appealed to the fact that the difference is preserved when the are 39 J in the J of a conditional as here my example not theirs J 25 26 3 a If Henry had sex and got infected he needs a doctor b If Henry got infected and had sex he needs a lawyer Also the difference is apparent when the two conjunctions are combined 4 It s worse to get infected and have sex than to have sex and get infected However these examples do not show that the relevant differences are a matter of linguistic meaning A simpler hypothesis one that does not ascribe temporal or and causal meanings to and is that these examples like the simpler l and 2 involve conversational impliciture in which what the speaker means is an implicitly qualified version of what he says Likely utterances of l and 2 are made as if they included an implicit then after and and are likely to be taken accordingly with 1 there is also likely to be an implicit as a result The speaker is exploiting Grice s maxim of manner in describing events in their order of occurrence and the hearer relies on the order of presentation to infer the speaker s intention in that regard On the pragmatic approach and is treated as unambiguously truthfunctional without having additional temporal or causal senses 222 or Even though it is often supposed that in English there is both an inclusive or and an exclusive or in the propositional calculus or is symbolized with just the inclusive v A disjunction is true just in case at least one of its disjuncts is true Of course if there were an exclusive or in English it would also be truthfunctional 7 an exclusive disjunction is true just in case exactly one of its disjuncts is true 7 but the simpler hypothesis is that the English or is unambiguously inclusive like v But does this comport with examples like these 5 Max is in Miami or he s in Palm Beach 6 Max is in Miami or Minnie his wife will hire a lawyer An utterance of 5 is likely to be taken as exclusive However this is not a consequence of the presence of an exclusive or but of the fact that one can t be in two places at once Also it might seem that there is an epistemic aspect to or for in uttering 5 the speaker is implying that he doesn t know whether Max is in Miami or in Palm Beach Surely though this implication is not due to the meaning of the word or but rather to the presumption that the speaker is supplying as much relevant and reliable information as he has31 The speaker 26 27 wouldn t be contradicting himself if preferring not to reveal Max s exact whereabouts he added I know where he is but I can t tell you The case of 6 requires a different story Here the order of the disjuncts matters since an utterance of Minnie will hire a lawyer or Max is in Miami would not be taken in the way that 6 is likely to be Because the disjuncts in 6 are ostensibly unrelated its utterance would be hard to explain unless they are actually connected somehow In a suitable context an utterance of 6 would likely be taken as if it contained else after or ie as a conditional of sorts That is the speaker means that if Max is NOT in Miami Minnie will hire a lawyer and might be implicating further that the reason Minnie will hire a lawyer is that she suspects Max is really seeing his girlfriend in Palm Beach The reason that order matters in this case is not that or does not mean inclusive disjunction but that in 6 it is intended as elliptical for or else which is not symmetrical 223 if Rendering if as the material conditional D is notoriously problematic even if socalled counterfactual conditionals are not taken into account Nothing is more puzzling to beginning logic students than that on the rendering of if S 1 then S 2 as p 3 q a conditional is true just in case its antecedent is false or its consequent is true This means that if the antecedent is false it doesn t matter whether the consequent is true or false and if the consequent is true it doesn t matter whether the antecedent is true or false Thus both 7 and 8 count as true 7 If Madonna is a virgin she has no children 8 If Madonna is a virgin she has children and so do both 9 and 10 9 If Madonna is married she has children 10 If Madonna is not married she has children The apparent problem with the material conditional analysis of ifsentences is that it imposes no constraint on the relationship between the pi r quot39 J J by the J and the consequent On this analysis 1 l 14 are as true as 7 10 l 1 If Madonna is a virgin she is a multimillionaire 12 If Madonna is a virgin she is not a multimillionaire 13 If Madonna is married she is brash 27 28 14 If Madonna is not married she is brash This might suggest that if sentences are not truthfunctional indeed Edgington 1991 has argued that they are not even truthvalued However it is arguable that the connection what Strawson 1986 calls a ground consequent relation between antecedent and consequent is not part of the conventional meaning of an z39fsentence and that the implication of such a connection can be explained pragmatically So suppose that an if sentence is equivalent to a material conditional p 3 q true just in case either its antecedent is false or its consequent is true It is thus equivalent to p v q Now as Strawson sketches the story one wouldn t utter a conditional if one could categorically assert the consequent or the negation of the antecedent That would violate the presumption that a speaker makes as strong a relevantly informative statement as he has a basis for making As we saw above it would be misleading to assert a disjunction if you are in a position to assert a disjunct unless you have independent reason for withholding it In the present case you wouldn t assert the equivalent of p v q if you could either assert p or assert q But then why assert the equivalent of p v q The only evident reason for this is that you re in a position to deny p amp q 7 p amp q is equivalent to p v q 7 on grounds that are independent of reasons for either asserting p or asserting q And such grounds would involve a groundconsequent relation So for example you wouldn t utter 7 if you could assert that Madonna is not a virgin or that she has no children However in the case of 15 15 If Madonna has any more children she will retire by 2005 where you re not in a position to deny the antecedent or categorically assert the consequent you would assert it to indicate a groundconsequent relation between them Although Strawson s account is plausible so far as it goes sometimes we have occasion to assert a conditional without implicating any groundconsequent relation between its antecedent and consequent Indeed we may implicate the absence of such a relation This happens for example when one conditional is asserted and then another is asserted with a contrary antecedent and the same consequent as in the following dialogue Guest The TV isn t working Host If the TV isn t plugged in it doesn t work Guest The TV IS plugged in 28 29 Host If the TV is plugged in it doesn t work Clearly the host s second utterance doesn t implicate any groundconsequent relation As the propositional calculus predicts the host s two statements together entail that the TV doesn t work period A further bit of support for the truthfunctional account of conditionals comes from cases like If you can lift that I m a monkey s uncle or l6 16 If Saddam Hussein wins the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award Dr Dre will win the Nobel Prize for medicine In such cases the consequent is obviously false and the speaker is exploiting this fact There is no entailment of a groundconsequent connection between the antecedent and consequent and the speaker is not implicating any Rather he is implicating that the antecedent is false indeed preposterous One last point about conditionals is that sometimes they are used as if they were biconditionals symbolized by 5 rather than D For example it might be argued that if can sometimes mean if and only if as in l7 17 If Harry works hard he ll get promoted where there seems to be an implication that if Harry doesn t work hard he won t get promoted ie that he ll get promoted only if he works hard The implication is pragmatic the speaker wouldn t utter 17 if he thought that working hard had nothing to do with getting promoted32 224 Quantificational phrases There are discrepancies between ordinary uses of quanti cational phrases and how they are represented in logic For example although ElxFx amp Gx is logically compatible with VxFx D Gx ordinarily when you say e g Some politicians are honest you imply that not all politicians are honest But clearly this is a generalized conversational implicature you would not say what you said if you were in a position to assert that ALL politicians are honest Also in standard logical systems v xFx D Gx does not entail ElxFx Nevertheless if you were to say e g All of Venus s moons are small you would imply that Venus has moons But again this discrepancy between ordinary use and logical representation can be explained away pragmatically normally you wouldn t say what you said if you didn t believe that Venus had moons 29 30 Another issue concerns the domain of quantificational phrases If you said to a group you invited to a pot luck dinner Everyone should bring something you would mean that everyone who comes to the dinner should bring something to eat Similarly when Yogi Berra said Nobody goes there to a certain restaurant any moreiit s too crowded he meant that nobody important goes there any more It is sometimes supposed that these restrictions on the universe of discourse or domain of quanti cation are provided contextually as values of covert quanti er domain variables33 However it s not necessary to transpose these technical notions from logic to natural language Instead we may suppose instead that these examples are but special cases of impliciture A speaker who uses a quantified noun phrase with a certain intended restriction could have made that restriction explicit by modifying with it with an adjective prepositional phrase or relative clause 23 Referring terms and quantificational phrases Philosophers commonly distinguish referring terms from quantificational phrases They generally though not universally regard proper names indexicals and demonstratives see Levinson this volume as referring terms and definite and indefinite descriptions as quantificational phrases Neale 199334 The relevant difference between the two types of noun phrase consists in whether they contribute objects or quantificational structure to the contents of sentences in which they occur As Russell puts it a referring term serves merely to indicate what we are speaking about it is no part of the fact asserted it is merely part ofthe symbolism by which we express our thought 1919 175 Sentences containing quantificational phrases express general propositions and particular objects do not enter into their contents So according to Russell s 1905 famous theory of descriptions a subj ectpredicate sentence of the form The F is G does not express a singular proposition of the form a is G but a general existential proposition of the form in modern notation Elx v yFy E yx amp Gx in which the object that is the F does not appear35 So for example The queen of England loves roses does not express a proposition about Elizabeth II It means what it means whether or not she is queen of England and indeed whether or not England has a queen As a quantificational phrase the queen of England does not refer to Elizabeth 11 Russell would say it denotes her but for him denotation was a semantically inert relation It can of course be USED to refer to her This might suggest that definite descriptions phrases are semantically ambiguous a possibility 30 31 Donnellan 1966 raised with his wellknown distinction between referential and attributive uses and posed as a threat to Russell s theory of descriptions see Abbott this volume However as Kripke 1977 forcefully argued with support from Bach 1987b ch 5 Neale 1990 and Salmon 1991 referential uses of definite descriptions can be understood in pragmatic terms And Ludlow and Neale 1991 have given a similarly pragmatic account of referential uses of indefinite descriptions Although quantificational phrases are not referring terms some can be used to refer Even so because of their distinct logical and semantic role they should not be assimilated to referring terms Consider for example the wellknown problem discussed by linguists in terms of the correlation between the GIVENNESS HIERARCHY of referring expressions ranging from indexical pronouns and zero pronouns in some languages to indefinite descriptions and the ACCESSIBILITY HIERARCHY of objects of reference ranging from things immediately present and prominent to items far removed both in space and relevance from the context of discourse36 However the expressions on the givenness hierarchy are not of the same semantic type Some are referring terms and some are quantificational phrases So for example indefinites should not be treated as if they belong on the same scale as pronouns The problem is that whereas a pronoun like she is a paradigmatic referring expression an indefinite like a woman is anything but If Jack says A woman wants to marry me he is not referring to any woman 7 even if he has a particular woman in mind For there is no woman that the listener must identify in order to understand the utterance this is so even if the fact that the speaker has some unspecified woman in mind is recognized by the hearer say because the speaker uses the specific indefinite form a certain woman To see this point one must distinguish the content of the utterance from the fact that would make it true So for example even if Jill wants to marry Jack he is not saying that Jill wants to marry him although that fact about her is what makes his utterance true 7 it would be true even if she wanted to marry someone else Also suppose that after saying A woman wants to marry me Jack adds But she doesn t love me Even though Jack is using she to refer to the woman who he believes wants to marry him this does not show that a woman referred to that woman It is often said following Karttunen 1976 that indefinites introduce DISCOURSE REFERENTS but this is using the term referent loosely Now consider a case in which an indefinite is used without any implication of uniqueness and yet is followed by a singular pronoun Suppose someone says 31 32 18 Phil took a pill last night at 11pm and it relieved his migraine Assume that Phil took several pills at that time that most were not for migraine and that the speaker has no particular pill in mind Even so it seem that 18 can be true in these circumstances However I suggest this is illusory its second conjunct does not have a determinate truth condition with respect to the assumed circumstances because the anaphoric pronoun it in 18 does not have a determinate reference To see why suppose that no pill cured Phil Then what would the second conjunct of 18 say It is not clear to me what it would say or indeed that it would say anything Presumably though what it says should be the same whether it is true or false But it is not clear on the supposition that it is false what it could say There is no pill which the speaker is mistakenly saying relieved Phil s migraine Then why does it seem that 18 could be true still assuming that Phil took several pills The apparent truth of 18 in circumstances where it is likely to be uttered does not depend on which pill makes it true 7 as long as there is some pill that relieves Phil s migraine We confuse what 18 says with the proposition that Phil took a pill last night at 11pm that cured his headache That is not what 18 says because a pill does not bind it which is outside its binding domain So it can only be what Neale calls a DTYPE PRONOUN one which goes proxy for a definite description 1990 p 187 In this case the description is the pill that Phil took but since he took more than one pill this description does not denote some one pill This kind of case with the cognitive illusion it produces again illustrates the force of a pragmatic explanation for what might otherwise be a mysterious semantic phenomenon in this case the imagined ability of a pronoun to refer when it can have no determinate reference 24 Statements of identity and attitude ascriptions Frege s 1892 twin problems concerning the informativeness of identity statements and the failure of substitution of coreferring terms in attitude ascriptions are often thought to admit of pragmatic solutions For example even though the name Reginald Dwight has the same reference as Elton John 19 is informative in a way in which 20 is not 19 Reginald Dwight Elton John 20 Elton John Elton John Yet if the semantic function of a name is just to refer to its bearer37 the two names are semantically equivalent and make the same contribution to sentences in which they occur and 32 33 19 should contain no more information than 20 But evidently it does Similarly sentence 21 is could be true and 22 false even though they appear to say the same thing 21 Madonna believes that Elton John is musically talented 22 Madonna believes that Reginald Dwight is musically talented If Reginald Dwight makes the same semantic contribution to 22 as Elton John makes to the otherwise identical 21 the two sentences should express the same proposition and indeed they would appear to have Madonna believing the same proposition One strategy for solving these puzzles developed most thoroughly by Salmon 1986 is to reject the key assumption underlying them namely that 19 is more informative than 20 and that 21 and 22 or the sentences embedded in them express different propositions He accepts the consequences of the view that coreferring names make the same semantic contribution to sentences in which they occur but denies that the relevant differences between 19 and 20 and between 21 and 22 are semantic He explains this difference pragmatically Following Frege he grants that different ways of thinking of Reginald DwightElton John are associated with the two names and consequently that there are different ways of taking the one proposition that is expressed by both Elton John is musically talented and Reginald Dwight is musically talented But these ways of thinkingtaking are not part of the semantics of the namessentences In Salmon s view utterances of the sentences pragmatically impa information about ways of thinking of individuals and ways of taking propositions However Braun 1998 has challenged Salmon s and other pragmatic approaches He argues that such information can be taken into account in solving Frege s puzzles without invoking pragmatic considerations In Bach 1997 I challenge assumptions shared by Braun and those he criticizes and develop a radically different type of pragmatic approach This challenge is based on the intuition that 21 and 22 do not have Madonna believing the same thing In this section we have sampled a variety of philosophically significant types of expressions and constructions that seem give rise to ambiguities and other semantic complications Economy and plausibility of explanation is afforded by heeding the semanticpragmatic distinction Rather than attribute needlessly complex properties to specific linguistic items we proceeded on the default assumption that uses of language can be explained by means of simpler semantic hypotheses together with general facts about rational communication 33 34 References Austin JL 1962 How to do Things with Words Oxford Oxford University Press Bach Kent 1987a On communicative intentions A reply to Recanati M ind amp Language 2 141 154 Bach Kent 1987b Thought and Reference Oxford Oxford University Press Bach Kent 1994 Conversational impliciture M ind amp Language 9 124162 Bach Kent 1995 Standardization vs conventionalization Linguistics and Philosophy 18 6776 86 Bach Kent 1997 Do belief reports report beliefs Paci c Philosophical Quarterly 78 215241 Bach Kent 1999a The semanticspragmatics distinction What it is and why it matters in The SemanticsPragmatics Interface from Di erent Points of View Ken Turner ed Oxford Elsevier pp 6584 Bach Kent 1999b The myth of conventional implicature Linguistics and Philosophy 22 327366 Bach Kent 2000 Quanti cation quali cation and Context M ind amp Language 15 262283 Bach Kent 2001 You don t say Synthese 125 1131 Bach Kent and Robert M Hamish 1979 Linguistic Communication and Speech Acts Cambridge MIT Press Bach Kent and Robert M Hamish 1992 How perforrnatives really work A reply to Searle Linguistics andPhilosophy 15 93110 Blakemore Diana 1990 Performatives and Parentheticals Proceedings of theAristotel ian Society 91 197213 Boer Steven and William Lycan 1976 The Myth of Semantic Presupposition Bloomington IN Indiana Linguistics Club Braun David 1994 Structured characters and complex demonstratives Philosophical Studies 74 Braun David 1998 Understanding belief reports Philosophical Review 107 555595 Carston Robyn 1988 Implicature explicature and truththeoretic semantics inMental Representations The Interface between Language and Reality Ruth Kempson ed Cambridge UK Cambridge University Press pp 155181 Reprinted in Davis ed 1991 pp 3351 Cohen L Jonathan 1971 Some remarks on Grice s views about the logical particles of natural language in Pragmatics of Natural Language Y BarHillel ed Dordrecht Reidel pp 5068 Davis Steven ed 1991 Pragmatics A Reader Oxford Oxford University Press 34 35 Donnellan Keith 1966 Reference and de nite descriptions Philosophical Review 75 281304 Reprinted in Davis ed 1991 pp 5264 Edgington Dorothy 1991 Do conditionals have truth conditions in Jackson ed pp 176201 Fraser H Bruce 1975 Hedged performatives in Syntax and Semantics vol 3 Peter Cole and Jerry Morgan eds New York Academic Press pp 187210 Frege Gottlob 1892 On sense and reference Reprinted in P Geach and M Black eds Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege 3rd ed Oxford Blackwell 1980 pp 5678 Fretheim Thorstein and Jeanette K Gundel eds 1996 Reference and ReferentAccessibility Amsterdam and Philadelphia John Benjamins Grice H P 1957 lleaning Philosophical Review 66 377388 Reprinted as Chapter 14 of Grice 1989 Grice H P 1961 The causal theory of perception Proceedings of theAristotelian Society Supp Vol 35 121152 Reprinted abridged as Chapter 15 of Grice 1989 Grice H P 1968 Utterer s meaning sentencemeaning and word meaning Foundations of Language 4 225242 Reprinted as Chapter 6 of Grice 1989 Grice H P 1969 Utterer s meaning and intentions Philosophical Review 78 147177 Reprinted as Chapter 5 of Grice 1989 and in Davis ed 1991 pp 305315 Grice H P 1975 Logic and conversation in Syntax and Sernantics vol 3 Peter Cole and Jerry Morgan eds New York Academic Press pp 4158 Reprinted as Chapter 6 of Grice 1989 and in Davis ed 1991 pp 305315 Grice Paul 1989 Studies in the Way of Words Cambridge MA Harvard University Press Gundel Jeanette K Nancy Hedberg and Ron Zacharski 1993 Cognitive status and the form of referring expressions in discourse Language 69 274307 Hamish Robert M 1976 Logical form and implicature in An Integrated Theory of Linguistic Ability T Bever J Katz and T Langendoen eds New York Crowell pp 313392 Reprinted in Davis ed 1991 pp 316364 Horn Laurence 1984 Toward a new taxonomy for pragmatic inference Qbased and Rbased implicature in Meaning Form and Use in Context D Schiffrin ed Washington Georgetown University Press pp 1142 Hungerland Isabel 1960 Contextual implication Inquiry 3 21 125 8 Jackson Frank ed 1991 Conditionals Oxford Oxford University Press Katz Jerrold J 1977 Propositional Structure and Illocutionary Force New York Crowell 35 36 Kripke Saul 1977 Speaker s reference and semantic reference Midwest Studies in Philosophy 2 255276 Reprinted in Davis ed 1991 pp 7796 Kripke Saul 1980 Naming and Necessity Cambridge MA Harvard University Press Levinson Stephen 2000 DefaultMeanings The Theory of Generalized Conversational Implicature Cambridge MA MIT Press Lewis David 1979 Scorekeeping in a language game Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 339359 Ludlow Peter and Stephen Neale 1991 Indefinite descriptions A defense of Russell Linguistics andPhilosophy 14 171202 Mill John Stuart 1872A System of Logic de nitive 8th ed 1949 reprint London Longmans Green and Company Moore G E 1944 Russell s theory of descriptions in The Philosophy of Bertrand Russell Paul Arthur Schilpp ed Evanston and Chicago Northwestern University Press pp 177225 Moore G E 1942 A reply to my critics in The Philosophy of G E Moore Paul Arthur Schilpp ed Evanston and Chicago Northwestern University Press pp 535677 Neale Stephen 1990 Descriptions Cambridge MA MIT Press Neale Stephen 1992 Paul Grice and the philosophy of language Linguistics and Philosophy 15 50959 Neale Stephen 1993 Term Limits Philosophical Perspectives 7 89123 Recanati Francois 1987 On defining communicative intentions M ind amp Language 1 21342 Recanati Francois 1989 The pragmatics of what is said Mind amp Language 4 295329 Reprinted in Davis ed 1991 pp 97120 Recanati Francois 2001 What is said Synthese 125 6279 Russell Bertrand 1905 On denoting M ind 14 479493 Reprinted in R C Marsh ed Logic and Knowledge London George Allen and Unwin 1956 Russell Bertrand 1919 Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy London George Allen and Unwin Salmon Nathan 1986 Frege s Puzzle Cambridge MA MIT Press Salmon Nathan 1991 The pragmatic fallacy Philosophical Studies 63 8397 Schelling Thomas 1960 The Strategy of Conflict Oxford Oxford University Press Schiffer Stephen 1972 Meaning Oxford Oxford University Press Searle John 1968 Austin on locutionary and illocutionary acts Philosophical Review 77 405424 36 37 Searle John 1969 Speech Acts An Essay in the Philosophy of Language Cambridge UK Cambridge University Press Searle John 1975 Indirect speech acts in Syntax and Semantics vol 3 Peter Cole and Je Morgan eds New York Academic Press pp 5982 Reprinted in Davis ed 1991 pp 255277 Searle John 1989 How perforrnatives work Linguistics and Philosophy 15 535558 Sperber Dan and Deirdre Wilson 1986 Relevance Cambridge MA Harvard University Press Stalnaker Robert 1974 Pragmatic presuppositions in Semantics and Philosophy M Munitz and P Unger eds New York New York University Press pp 197213 Reprinted in Davis ed 1991 pp 471482 and in Stalnaker 1999 pp 4762 Stalnaker Robert 1999 Context and Content Oxford Oxford University Press Stanley Jason and Zoltan Szabo 2000 On quanti er domain restriction Minal amp Language 15 219261 Strawson P F 1964 Intention and convention in speech acts Philosophical Review 73 43960 Reprinted in Davis ed 1991 pp 290302 Strawson P F 1986 IF and 3 in Philosophical Grounds of Rationality Intentions Categories Ends R Grandy and R Warner eds Oxford Oxford University Press pp 229242 Wittgenstein Ludwig 1953 Philosophical Investigations New York Macmillan 37 38 Notes 1 This distinction is compatible with Grice s conviction thought that linguistic meaning can be reduced to standardized speaker s meaning However this reductive view has not gained wide acceptance partly because of its extreme complexity see Grice 1969 and Schiffer 1972 and partly because it requires the controversial assumption that language is essentially a vehicle for communicating thoughts Even so many philosophers would grant that mental content is a more fundamental notion than linguistic meaning This issue will not be taken up here 2 We do this by using a performative verb like promise pronounce apologize or request in a sentence beginning with I followed by a performative verb in present tense and active voice The firstperson plural is possible too We promise as is the secondperson passive Smoking is prohibited The word hereby may be inserted before the performative verb to indicate that the utterance in which it occurs is the vehicle of the performance of the act in question 3 However it does seem that in uttering say I promise you a rose garden a speaker is at least saying that he is promising the hearer a rose garden And what he is saying is true just in case he is making that promise 4 Austin s focus on such cases led him to develop an account of what it takes for these formalized utterances to be performed successfully and a classi cation of the various things that can go wrong aws hitches and other sorts of infelicities 5 It has been thought e g by Katz 1977 that performativity is a matter of linguistic meaning Perhaps there is a special semantic property of performativity so that it is part of the meaning of words like prornise apologize and request that one can perform an act of the very sort named by the verb by uttering a performative sentence containing that verb One problem with this suggestion is that it implausibly entails that such verbs are systematically ambiguous For a performative sentence can be used literally but nonperformatively e g to report some habitual act For instance one might use I apologize whenever I smirk to describe typical situations in which one apologizes Moreover it seems that even if verbs like prornise apologize and request were never used performatively they would still mean just what they mean in fact Imagine a community of users of a language just like English in which there is no practice of using such verbs performatively When people there perform acts of the relevant sorts they always do so just as we sometimes do without using performative verbs eg making promises by saying I will de nitely giving apologies by saying I m sorry and issuing requests by using imperative sentences In this hypothetical community the verbs prornise apologize and request would seem to have the same meanings that they in fact have in English applying respectively to acts of promising apologizing and requesting The only relevant difference 38 39 would be that such acts are not performed by means of the performative form It seems then that in our community where they are sometimes performed in this way perforrnativity is not a matter of meaning 6 So it would seem that an account of explicit perforrnatives should not appeal as Searle s 1989 elaborate account in How Performatives Work does to any special features of the performative formula In How Performatives Really Work Bach and Hamish 1992 argue that Searle s account is based on a spurious distinction between having a communicative intention and being committed to having one and on a confusion between perforrnativity and communicative success 7 Also there are all sorts of other forms of words which are standardly used to perform speech acts of certain types without making explicit the type of act of being performed e g It would be nice if you to request Why don t you to advise Do you know to ask for information I m sorry to apologize and I wouldn t do that to warn Even in the case of hedged and embedded perforrnatives such as I can assure you I must inform you I would like to invite you and I am pleased to be able to offer you in which the type of act is made explicit the alleged conventions for simple performative forms would not apply For discussion of hedged and embedded perforrnatives see Fraser 1975 and Bach and Hamish 1979 20919 8 Their standardization does not show that they are governed by special conventions Rather it provides a precedent that serves to streamline the inference required for their successful performance 9 We develop a detailed taxonomy in Bach and Hamish 1979 Chapter 3 where each type of illocutionary act is individuated by the type of attitude expressed In some cases there are constraints on the content as well We borrow the terms constative and commissive from Austin and directive from Searle We adopt the term acknowledgment rather than Austin s behabitive or Searle s expressive for apologies greetings thanks congratulations condolences etc which express an attitude to the hearer that is occasioned by some event that is thereby being acknowledged often in satisfaction of a social expectation 10 This distinction and the following examples are drawn from Bach and Hamish 1979 Chapter 6 A H 1 A I 11 The communicative theory of y acts is as holding that the performance of such an act involves the communication of the type of act being performed Blakernore 1990 suggests that this theory implies that for example to predict even when no performative is used or when it is used only parenthetically is to communicate not just what one is predicting but that one is predicting it However the theory does not imply this It implies only that predicting is an act of communication and that an act of communication is the act of expressing an attitude such as a belief about the future The foregoing misconception about the communicative 39 40 theory is part of the motivation for Sperber and Wilson s 1986 relevance theory and for Blakemore s relevancetheoretic account of perforrnatives 12 This is how Searle puts the point in Speech Acts 1969 47 Even though understanding is the intended effect of illocutionary acts he does not regard them merely as acts of communication In his view there is more to the performance of an illocutionary act except for acts like thanking and congratulating than the expression of its sincerity condition p 67 But his account of their essential conditions does not make clear what this additional element is 13 The difference between expressing an attitude and actually possessing it is clear from the following de nition to express an attitude in uttering something is re exively to intend the hearer to take one s utterance as reason to think one has that attitude Bach and Hamish 1979 15 This reason need not be conclusive and if in the context it is overridden the hearer will in order to identify the attitude being expressed search for an alternative and perhaps nonliteral interpretation of the utterance For discussion see Bach and Hamish 1979 5759 28991 1quot Correlatively the hearer can understand the utterance without regarding it as sincere e g take it as expressing regret without believing that the speaker regrets having done the deed in question Getting one s audience to believe that one actually possesses the attitude one is expressing is not an illocutionary but a perlocutionary act 15 Partly because of certain alternative wordings and perhaps indecision compare his 1969 with his 1957 article Grice s analysis is sometimes interpreted as de ning communicative intentions iteratively rather than re exively but this not only misconstrues Grice s idea but leads to endless complications see Strawson 1964 and especially Schiffer 1972 for good illustrations Recanati 1986 has pointed to certain problems with the iterative approach but in reply I have argued Bach 1987a that these problems do not arise on the re exive analysis 16 This question was raised by Schelling 1960 who was the first to discuss games of tacit coordination pp 5458 17 If the hearer thinks the speaker actually possesses the attitude he is expressing in effect she is taking him to be sincere in what he is communicating But there is no question about his being sincere in the communicative intention itself for this intention must be identi ed before the question of his sincerity in having that attitude can even arise In other words deceiving your audience about your real attitude presupposes successfully expressing some other attitude You can be unsuccessful in conveying your communicative intention 7 by being too vague ambiguous or metaphorical or even by being wrongly taken literally 7 but not insincere about it 40 41 18 For a review of earlier approaches to what used to be called contextual implication see Hungerland 1960 19 See Horn this volume Also see Harnish 1976 1991 33040 for discussion of Grice s maxims their weaknesses and their con icts and Levinson 2000 for extensive discussion and adaptation of them to various types of generalized conversational implicature 20 See Bach and Hamish 1979 6265 We replace Grice s Cooperative Principle with our own CP the COMMUNICATIVE PRESUMPTION 21 There is also the question of how costs of effort and bene ts are to be measured as well as because of the tradeoff between cost and bene t the problem that a given degree of relevance can be achieved in various ways For all Sperber and Wilson say their principle of relevance is not equipped to distinguish much bene t at much cost from little bene t at little cost So their principle has little predictive or explanatory power Besides it disregards the essentially re exive character of communicative intentions and instead assumes that speakers are somehow able to gear their utterances to maximize relevance 22 That is why the notion of locutionary acts is indispensable as Bach and Hamish 1979 28889 argue in reply to Searle 1968 23 In Bach 1987b I describe such utterances as cases of sentence nonliterality because the words are being used literally but the sentence as a whole is being used loosely Compare the sentences mentioned in the text with the similar sentences Everybody is going to die or I ve already been in the Army which are more likely to be used in a strictly literal way 24 Recanati 1989 and I Bach 1994 have debated whether intuition or syntax constrain what is said and we have renewed the debate in Recanati 2001 and Bach 2001 25 I classify these and many other utterance modi ers in Bach 1999b sec 5 26 For a collection of sample formulations see the Appendix to Bach 1999a 27 For this reason I do not accept Stalnaker s contention that we need a single concept of context that is both what determines the contents of contextdependent expressions and also what speech acts act upon 1999 4 28 In Bach 1999a I develop and defend this conception of the distinction and contrast it with alternatives 29 To the extent that the debate about the semanticpragmatic distinction isn t entirely terminological perhaps the main substantive matter of dispute is whether there is such a thing as pragmatic intrusion whereby pragmatic factors allegedly contribute to semantic interpretation see Carston and Recanati this volume Various linguistic phenomena have been thought to provide evidence for 41 42 pragmatic intrusion hence against the viability of the semanticpragmatic distinction but in each case in my opinion Bach 1999a this is an illusion based on some misconception about the distinction When it and the related distinctions enumerated above are observed there is no issue of pragmatic intrusion Levinson 2000 argues that many alleged cases of pragmatic intrusion are really instances of generalized conversational implicature which he thinks is often misconstrued as a purely semantic phenomenon 3 Levinson 2000 describes them as default meanings but he does not mean sentence meanings He thinks of them as comprising an intermediate layer of meaning of systematic pragmatic inference based not on direct computations about speakerintentions but rather on general expectations about how language is normally used which give rise to presumptions default inferences about both content and force 2000 22 In my view this does not demonstrate an intermediate layer of meaning 7 there is still only linguistic meaning and speaker meaning 7 but rather the fact that speakers communicative intentions and hearers inference are subject to certain systematic constraints based on practice and precedent See Bach 1995 31 This sounds like a combination of Grice s Quantity and Quality maxims or what Hamish proposed as the Maxim of QuantityQuality Make the strongest relevant claim justi able by your evidence 19761991 34039 see also note 46 pp 360361 32 We have not addressed the case of socalled subjunctive or counterfactual conditionals What their truth conditions are is a complex and controversial question see the relevant essays in Jackson 1991 Compare e g ii with i i If Oswald didn t shoot Kennedy someone else did ii If Oswald hadn t shot Kennedy someone else would have Whatever the explanation of the difference surely it is not due to any ambiguity in The would in ii suggests that ii is to be evaluated hypothetically but this requires assuming a set of conditions on how the world otherwise is and exactly what conditions are those 33 Stanley and Szabo 2000 have offered some ingenious arguments for the claim that quanti ed noun phrases have domain variables associated with them I have replied to these arguments in Bach 2000 34 There is considerable uncertainty about the status of demonstrative descriptions Neale 1993 Braun 1994 35 Russell often calls de nite descriptions INCOMPLETE SYMBOLS because they disappear upon logical analysis thus making grammatical form is misleading as to logical form A contemporary Russellian Stephen Neale 1990 avoids this consequence by employing restricted quanti er notation with which a description sentence may be represented by the form the x FxGx This notation has the further 42
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