Acknowledgments

This book started its life as a series of lectures at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1994. Those who attended my graduate seminar in philosophy that year were so passionately involved in discussing the foundational issues I had raised that we all retain wonderful memories of those weeks of continuing debate. (Or at least, I do.) The most active debaters were, undoubtedly, Herman Cappelen and Josh Dever on the student side, and John Searle and Stephen Neale on the faculty side. I am greatly indebted to the four of them for those valuable and exciting discussions.

The second major step was taken when Professor Kunihiko Imai, of Gakushuin University, invited me to present my views on the semantics/pragmatics interface during a special workshop which took place in Tokyo on 30 September 2001. For that workshop I prepared a long talk which, I soon realized, could easily be expanded into a book. A couple of years earlier I had contracted with Cambridge University Press for a book on literal meaning. (The original title was ‘Context and Content’, but Robert Stalnaker published a collection of papers under that title in 1999, so I had to find something else.) I decided to use the Tokyo presentation as the nucleus for that book. I am grateful to Professor Imai for the invitation, and for the discussions which took place during the workshop. I also benefited from insightful comments by Yuji Nishiyama, Haruhiko Yamaguchi and Seiji Uchida.

When the book was well under way the department of philosophy of the University of Granada (Spain), in charge of the thirteenth Inter-University Workshop on Philosophy and Cognitive Science to be held in February 2003, decided to invite me as main speaker and to organize the workshop around my work. I was supposed to give three talks during the three days of the workshop. I chose to devote the three of them to the Literalism/Contextualism controversy, which is the topic of this book. This provided me with a welcome opportunity for testing my new ideas; an opportunity for which I wish to thank Maria José Frápolli, Esther Romero and Belén Soria, as well as the SEFA (Sociedad Española de Filosofía Analítica) in cooperation with which the inter-university workshops are organized.

-vii-

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Literal Meaning
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1- Two Approaches to 'What Is Said' 5
  • 2- Primary Pragmatic Processes 23
  • 3- Relevance-Theoretic Objections 38
  • 4- The Syncretic View 51
  • 5- Non-Literal Uses 68
  • 6- from Literalism to Contextualism 83
  • 7- Indexicalism and the Binding Fallacy 98
  • 8- Circumstances of Evaluation 115
  • 9- Contextualism: How Far Can We Go? 131
  • Conclusion 154
  • Bibliography 166
  • Index 175
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