Friday, May 18: Elisabeth Camp

Please join us this Friday as Elisabeth Camp (Philosophy, Rutgers) presents work on slurs and the divide between truth-conditional and expressivist semantics.

Date and time: Friday, May 18, 10:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

Location: Stuart 209

Title: Expression, truth, and compositionality: slurs in discourse structure


Most theories of linguistic meaning are constructed with truth-conditional resources.  Some expressivists, like Gibbard, attempt to reformulate the entire truth-conditional structure to smoothly integrate the expression of non-truth-conditional contents or attitudes; others, like Potts, posit expressive meaning as a strictly segregated addendum to the truth-conditional machinery.  I argue that slurs demonstrate the need for an intermediate position: while compositional machinery tends to be focused on truth-conditional contents, the partition is not absolute, and incorporation within compositional meaning depends upon pragmatic as well as semantic factors.

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