1887
Volume 27, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

Abstract

Although most contemporary philosophers of language hold that semantics and pragmatics require separate study, there is surprisingly little agreement on where exactly the line should be drawn between these two areas, and why. In this paper I suggest that this lack of clarity is at least partly caused by a certain historical obfuscation of the roots of the founding three-way distinction between syntax, semantics and pragmatics in Charles Peirce’s pragmatist philosophy of language. I then argue for recovering and revisiting these original roots, taking indexicality as a case-study of how certain questions connected with the distinction which are currently considered complex and difficult may be clarified by a ‘properly pragmatist pragmatics’. Such a view, I shall argue, upends a certain priority usually accorded to semantics over pragmatics, teaching that we do not work out what terms mean in some abstract overall sense and then work out to what use they are being put; rather, we must understand to what use terms are being put in order to understand what they mean.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/pc.20005.leg
2021-10-06
2021-12-04
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Allwood, Jens
    1981 On the distinctions between semantics and pragmatics. InWolfgang Klein & Willem Levelt (eds.), Crossing the boundaries in linguistics, 177–189. Dordrecht: Springer. 10.1007/978‑94‑009‑8453‑0_8
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-8453-0_8 [Google Scholar]
  2. Atkin, Albert
    2005 Peirce on the index and indexical reference. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society61(1), 161–188.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bach, Kent
    2004 Pragmatics and the philosophy of language. InLaurence R. Horn & Gregory Ward (eds). The handbook of pragmatics, 463–487. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bar-Hillel, Yehoshua
    1954 Indexical expressions. Mind, New Series, 63(251). 359–379. 10.1093/mind/LXIII.251.359
    https://doi.org/10.1093/mind/LXIII.251.359 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bergman, Mats
    2009Peirce’s philosophy of communication: The rhetorical underpinnings of the theory of signs. London: Bloomsbury.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Brandom, Robert
    1994Making it explicit. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. 2008Between saying and doing: Towards an analytic pragmatism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542871.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542871.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  8. Braun, David
    2015 Indexicals. Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. plato.stanford.edu/entries/indexicals/ (DownloadedJune 9, 2019).
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Brown, Roger
    1958 How shall a thing be called?Psychological Review65(1). 14–21. 10.1037/h0041727
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0041727 [Google Scholar]
  10. Castañeda, Hector-Neri
    1989 Direct reference, the semantics of thinking, and guise theory. InJames Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes from Kaplan, 105–144. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Champagne, Marc
    2015 A less simplistic metaphysics: Peirce’s layered theory of meaning as a layered theory of being. Sign Systems Studies43(4). 523–559. 10.12697/SSS.2015.43.4.10
    https://doi.org/10.12697/SSS.2015.43.4.10 [Google Scholar]
  12. 2019 ______ is necessary for interpreting a proposition. Chinese Semiotic Studies15(1). 39–48. 10.1515/css‑2019‑0003
    https://doi.org/10.1515/css-2019-0003 [Google Scholar]
  13. Davidson, Donald
    1967 Truth and meaning. Synthese17(1). 304–323. 10.1007/BF00485035
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00485035 [Google Scholar]
  14. Davies, Martin & Lloyd Humberstone
    1980 Two notions of necessity. Philosophical Studies38(1). 1–30. 10.1007/BF00354523
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00354523 [Google Scholar]
  15. Fotion, Nick
    1995 Pragmatics. InTed Honderich (ed.), The Oxford companion to philosophy, 23–43. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Gazdar, Gerald
    1979Pragmatics: Implicature, presupposition, and logical form. New York: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Gendler-Szabó, Zoltan
    2005Semantics versus pragmatics. Oxford: OUP. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199251520.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199251520.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  18. Goudge, Thomas
    1965 Peirce’s index. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society1(2). 52–70.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Horn, Laurence R. & Gregory Ward
    (eds.) 2004The handbook of pragmatics. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Houser, Nathan
    2020 Semiotics and philosophy. The American Journal of Semiotics, forthcoming. doi:  10.5840/ajs202082764
    https://doi.org/10.5840/ajs202082764 [Google Scholar]
  21. Husserl, Edmund
    1913Logical investigations, trans.J. N. Findlay. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Kaplan, David
    1989 Demonstratives: An essay on the semantics, logic, metaphysics and epistemology of demonstratives. InJames Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes from Kaplan, 481–565. Oxford: OUP.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Katz, Jerrold
    1977Propositional structure and illocutionary force: A study of the contribution of sentence meaning to speech acts. New York: Crowell.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Kempson, Ruth
    1988 Grammar and conversational principles. InFrederick Newmeyer (ed.), Linguistics: The Cambridge survey, vol.2, 139–163. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511621055.009
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511621055.009 [Google Scholar]
  25. Korta, Kepa & John Perry
    2015 Pragmatics. Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. plato.stanford.edu/entries/pragmatics/ (DownloadedJune 7, 2019).
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Kukla, Rebecca & Mark N. Lance
    2009‘Yo!’ and ‘lo!’: The pragmatic topography of the space of reasons. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Lefebvre, Martin
    2007 The art of pointing. On Peirce, indexicality, and photographic images. InJames Elkins (ed.), Photography theory, 220–244. New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. 2010 De quelques airs de famille: Remarques sur le langage et la ressemblance chez Peirce et Wittgenstein. InFrancois Latraverse (ed.), Peirce, Wittgenstein et le pragmatism, 1–22. Paris: L’Harmattan.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Legg, Catherine
    2008 The problem of the essential icon. American Philosophical Quarterly45(3). 207–232.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. 2014 Charles Peirce’s limit concept of truth. Philosophy Compass9(3). 204–213. 10.1111/phc3.12114
    https://doi.org/10.1111/phc3.12114 [Google Scholar]
  31. Levine, Steven
    2010 Rehabilitating objectivity: Rorty, Brandom, and the New Pragmatism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy40(4). 567–589. 10.1080/00455091.2010.10716735
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00455091.2010.10716735 [Google Scholar]
  32. Millikan, Ruth Garrett
    1990 The myth of the essential indexical. Noûs24. 723–734. 10.2307/2215811
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2215811 [Google Scholar]
  33. Morris, Charles
    1938 Foundations of the theory of signs. InOtto Neurath, Rudolf Carnap & Charles Morris (eds.), International encyclopedia of unified science I, 77–138. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Peirce, Charles S.
    1885 On the algebra of logic: A contribution to the philosophy of notation. American Journal of Mathematics7(2–3). 180–196. 10.2307/2369451
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2369451 [Google Scholar]
  35. Peirce, Charles S.
    1992Essential Peirce, vol. 1: Selected philosophical writings (1867–1893). Eds.Nathan Houser & Christian Kloesel. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. 1998Essential Peirce, vol. 2: Selected philosophical writings (1893–1913). Eds.Nathan Houser & Christian Kloesel. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. 1931–58Collected papers (vol. 1–8). Eds.Charles Hartshorne, Paul Weiss & Arthur Burks. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Perry, John
    1979 The problem of the essential indexical. Noûs13. 3–21. 10.2307/2214792
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2214792 [Google Scholar]
  39. 1997 Indexicals and demonstratives. InBob Hale & Crispin Wright (eds.), Companion to the philosophy of language, 586–612. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. 1998 Indexicals, contexts and unarticulated constituents. InProceedings of the 1995 CSLI-Amsterdam logic, language and computation conference. Stanford: CSLI Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Quine, Willard V. O.
    1960Word and object. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Recanati, Francois
    2001 What is said. Synthese128(1–2). 75–91. 10.1023/A:1010383405105
    https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010383405105 [Google Scholar]
  43. 2012 Pragmatic enrichment. InGillian Russell & Delia Graff Fara (eds.), Routledge companion to the philosophy of language, 67–78. New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Reichenbach, Hans
    1947Elements of symbolic logic. New York: Free Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Rommetveit, Ragnar
    1988 On literacy and the myth of literal meaning. InRoger Säljö (ed.), The written world: Studies in literate thought and action, 13–40. Berlin: Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑642‑72877‑8_2
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-72877-8_2 [Google Scholar]
  46. Russell, Bertrand
    1948Human knowledge: Its scope and its limits. London: Allen and Unwin.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Stalnaker, Robert
    1970 Pragmatics. Synthese22(1–2). 272–289. 10.1007/BF00413603
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00413603 [Google Scholar]
  48. Swindal, James
    2007 Can a discursive pragmatism guarantee objectivity? Habermas and Brandom on the correctness of norms. Philosophy and Social Criticism33(1). 113–126. 10.1177/0191453707071401
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0191453707071401 [Google Scholar]
  49. Tarski, Alfred
    1983 The concept of truth in the languages of the deductive sciences. InJoseph Henry Woodger (trs.), Logic, semantics, metamathematics: Papers from 1923 to 1938, 156–278. Hackett: Indianapolis.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Voss, Stephen & Charles Sayward
    1976 Eternal sentences. Australasian Journal of Philosophy54(1). 14–23. 10.1080/00048407612341011
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00048407612341011 [Google Scholar]
  51. Wettstein, Howard
    1986 Has semantics rested on a mistake?The Journal of Philosophy83(4). 185–209. 10.2307/2026531
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2026531 [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/pc.20005.leg
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): indexicality; Peirce; pragmatics; pragmatism; semantics
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error