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The Pragmatics of Insensitive Assessments
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Institutionen för Filosofi, Lingvistik och Vetenskapsteori, Göteborgs universitet.
2009 (English)In: Abstract online. Context and Levels of Locutionary Content, Lisbon December 2009, 2009Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In assessing the veridicality of utterances, we normally seem to assess the satisfaction of conditions that the speaker had been concerned to get right in making the utterance. However, the debate about assessor-relativism about epistemic modals, predicates of taste, gradable adjectives and conditionals has been largely driven by cases in which seemingly felicitous assessments of utterances are insensitive to aspects of the context of utterance that were highly relevant to the speaker’s choice of words.

In this paper, we offer an explanation of why certain locutions invite insensitive assessments, focusing primarily on ’tasty’ and ’might’. We spell out some reasons why felicitous insensitive assessments are puzzling and argue briefly that recent attempts to accommodate such assessments (including attempts by John MacFarlane, Kai von Fintel and Anthony Gillies) all fail to provide more than hints at a solution to the puzzle. In the main part of the paper, we develop an account of felicitous insensitive assessments by identifying a number of pragmatic factors that influence the felicity of assessments. Before closing, we argue that the role of these factors extends beyond cases considered in the debate about assessor-relativism and fits comfortably with standard contextualist analyses of the relevant locutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009.
Keyword [en]
Insensitive assessments, relativism, contextualism, John MacFarlane, Andy Egan
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-54964OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-54964DiVA: diva2:312501
Conference
International Conference on Context and Levels of Locutionary Content, New University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, December 3-4 2009
Available from: 2010-04-25 Created: 2010-04-25 Last updated: 2013-10-10

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Björnsson, Gunnar

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf