Please join us this Friday as Patrick Munoz from the Linguistics Department presents work on subjectivity and disagreement.
Date and Time: Friday, December 4, 10:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.
Location: Rosenwald 208 (Linguistics seminar room)
Title: Faultless disagreement and the determination of contextual parameters
The phenomenon of faultless disagreement, in which two agents seem to have conflicting doxastic attitudes, or seem to make contradictory assertions, yet neither seems to commit a factual error, has been a springboard for recent relativistic approaches to semantics that involve evaluating propositional content with respect to judges or standards of taste. I argue that faultless disagreement is a general linguistic epiphenomenon that is expected to arise given an appropriately sophisticated standard Kaplanian semantics of context and truth-evaluation and Stalnakerian pragmatics of assertion, if we further assume, following Peter Lasersohn, that abstract semantic utterance contexts are distinct from, and not uniquely determined by, concrete speech situations, such that a single speech situation may be compatible with multiple semantic contexts. I provide a unified account of faultless disagreement as involving disagreement over the setting of contextual parameters with respect to which semantic content is created and evaluated, when said parameters are not uniquely determined by the concrete speech situation. This further predicts that faultless disagreement arises wherever contextual parameters can be undetermined, which involves a wide range of cases extending beyond those involving so-called predicates of personal taste.