Understanding Each Other: Contextualism, Relativism, and the Role of Interpretation

Erich Rast



The project is a continuation of existing work on the interpretation of semantically incomplete utterances. My main goal is to further develop the interpretation by plausibility approach, which is an alternative to recent contextualist and relativist accounts to the truth-conditional meaning of natural language utterances such as 'Licorice is tasty.' The interpretation-based approach brings together two previously unconnected lines of research in the Philosophy of Language and Formal Epistemology: The missing ingredient (tasty for whom?) is inferred by the hearer on the basis of some minimal semantic content derived from his 'mental lexicon', his prior beliefs and communicative assumptions, and his presumed ability to subjectively assess different possible scenarios according to how plausible they are. The inference occurs prior to the kind of deep interpretation whose result is speech act content and for which existing Gricean and relevance-theoretic models exist, and the approach does not compete with these but rather supplements them. It may be taken as one more piece in the toolset of formal pragmatics. The approach will be evaluated and contrasted with traditional contextualist accounts based on D. Kaplan's work and with recent assessment-based truth-relativism. The investigation will specifically focus on predicates of personal taste and moral and aesthetic value judgments, as they have recently been discussed by P. Lasersohn, M. Koelbel, J. MacFarlane. The project will therefore also touch foundational issues in aesthetics and ethics.

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All Events

Steven Gouveia, 13 December 2017, 16h

Steven Gouveia presents A Neurophilosophical Account of Perception The Mind…

December 13, 2017

Andri Christodoulou, 11 Dec 2017, 16h30

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Using argumentation as a tool for…

December 11, 2017

Elisabetta Montanari, 27 Nov 2017, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Learning Consistency Via Argumentation"

November 27, 2017

Dina Mendonça, Fr 27 Nov 17 Sala 606 TB, 16h

Dina Mendonça on the Role of Reflexivity and Meta-Emotions in…

November 24, 2017

Klaus Gaertner, 15 November 2017, 16h

Klaus Gartner RIP Mind & Cognition Seminar, The Dynamics of…

November 15, 2017

Fabrizio Macagno, 13 November 2017, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Evidence for misunderstandings"

November 13, 2017

Conference on Value Disagreement

VDC-2017: International Conference on Value Disagreement @IFILNOVA

November 09, 2017

Assimakis Tseronis, 16 October 2017, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Multimodal Argumentation: Building Bridges between Argumentation…

October 16, 2017

Andrés Soria Ruiz, 13th October 2017, 11h

Talk by Andrés Soria Ruiz, Institut Nicod | Fr. 13.10.2017…

October 13, 2017

Workshop on Legal evidence and argumentation

The workshop aims at exploring the notion of expert-based evidence…

October 11, 2017

RIP Seminar with Rob Clowes, 4th October 2017 at 16h.

Mind & Cognition RIP Seminar on Material Agency and Strong…

October 04, 2017

Marcin Lewiński, 2 October 2017, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Disagreeing, misunderstanding and strawmanning"

October 02, 2017


Faculdade de Direito Universidade Nova de Lisboa