Title

Intuitions about disagreement do not support the normativity of meaning

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Dialectica

Publication Date

3-2016

Volume

70

Issue

1

First Page

65

Last Page

84

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

Abstract

Allan Gibbard (2012) argues that the term ‘meaning’ expresses a normative concept, primarily on the basis of arguments that parallel Moore's famous Open Question Argument. In this paper I argue that Gibbard's evidence for normativity rests on idiosyncrasies of the Open Question Argument, and that when we use related thought experiments designed to bring out unusual semantic intuitions associated with normative terms we fail to find such evidence. These thought experiments, moreover, strongly suggest there are basic requirements for a theory of meaning incompatible with Gibbard's ultimate goal of providing an expressivist account of meaning-related concepts. I conclude by considering a possible way in which meaning could be normative, consistent with the intuitions about disagreement; but this form of normativism about meaning appears incompatible with Gibbard's expressivism.

DOI

10.1111/1746-8361.12133

Print ISSN

00122017

E-ISSN

17468361

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2016 The Author dialectica © 2016 Editorial Board of dialectica.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Baker, D. (2016). Intuitions about disagreement do not support the normativity of meaning. Dialectica, 70(1), 65-84. doi: 10.1111/1746-8361.12133