Skip to main content

Does Linguistic Communication Rest on Inference?

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


It is often claimed that, because of semantic underdetermination, one can determine the content of an utterance only by appealing to pragmatic considerations concerning what the speaker means, what his intentions are. This supports ‘inferentialism’: the view that, in contrast to perceptual content, communicational content is accessed indirectly, via an inference. As against this view, I argue that primary pragmatic processes (the pragmatic processes that are involved in the determination of truth-conditional content) need not involve an inference from premises concerning what the speaker can possibly intend by his utterance. Indeed, they need not involve any inference at all: communication, I argue, is as direct as perception.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute Jean Nicod, CNRS, Paris

Publication date: 2002-02-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more