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Context

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Abstract

The article analyses the concepts of context used in two-dimensional formal semantic accounts of Kaplan and Stalnaker and in selected versions of post-Gricean contextualism. It focuses on the question of contextual parameters employed in “context as index” on the one hand, and on free, top-down contextual enrichment on the other, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of breaking down contextual dependence into specific sub-types. It also addresses the question of metaphysical vis-à-vis epistemological construal of context and points out that the epistemic context, associated with the concepts of intentions and pragmatic universals of rational conversational behaviour, may ultimately be reducible to a metaphysical construct. The claim is then assessed in terms of the contextualist theory of Default Semantics (DS) and it is concluded that metaphysical context is suitable for modeling the speaker-addressee interaction as it is conceived of in DS.

References

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