Utterer's Meaning and Intention

Utterer's Meaning and Intention - 5 Utterer's Meaning and...

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5 Utterer's Meaning and Intentions 1. Saying and Meaning Let us take stock. My main efforts so far have been directed as follows: (1) I have suggested a provisional account of a kind of nonconven- tional implicature, namely a conversational implicature; what is im- plicated is what it is required that one assume a speaker to think in order to preserve the assumption that he is observing the Cooperative Principle (and perhaps some conversational maxims as well), if not at the level of what is said, at least at the level of what is implicated. (2) I have attempted to see to what extent the explanation of impli- cature is useful for deciding about the connection of some of the A- philosophical theses, listed in Essay 1. A lot of unanswered questions remain: (1) The reliance (without much exposition) on a favored notion of "saying" needs to be further elucidated. (2) The notion of conventional force (conventional" meaning) de- serves more attention, and the notion itself needs to be characterized. (3) The notion of conventional implicature requires attention, and the relation between what is conventionally implicated and what is said needs characterization. (4) "Implicature" is a blanket word to avoid having to make choices between words like "imply," "suggest," "indicate," and "mean." These words are worth analyzing. (5) Also needed are a clarification of the notion of relevance, a more precise specification of when relevance is expected (filling out
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Utterer's Meaning and Intentions 87 the maxim of relevance), and a further consideration of why there is a general expectation that this maxim (and indeed all maxims) be observed. I doubt if I shall be able here to address myself to all of these ques- tions. I shall, in the first instance, try to pursue question (1) further, which will carry with it some attention to questions (2) and (3). What follows is a sketch of direction, rather than a formulation of a thesis, with regard to the notion of saying that p (in the favored sense of say). I want to say that (1) " U (utterer) said that p" entails (2) "U did something x by which U meant that p," But of course many things are examples of the condition specified in statement (2) which are not cases of saying. For example, a man in a car, by refraining from turn- ing on his lights, means that I should go first, and he will wait for me. Let us try substituting, for (2), (2'): "U did something x (1) by which U meant that p (2) which is of a type which means 'p: " (that is, has for some person or other an estab- lished standard or conventional meaning). There is a convenient laxity of formulation here: quite apart from troubles about the quoted variable, "p" will be in direct speech and so cannot be a quotation of a clause following" U meant that". Again many things satisfy the condition mentioned in this example which are not cases of saying, such as hand-signaling a left turn.
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