Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Speaker meaning, utterance meaning and radical interpretation in Davidson’s ‘A nice derangement of epitaphs’

Buy Article:

$14.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

It is central to Davidson’s argument in ‘A nice derangement of epitaphs’ that a speaker’s utterance can have a non-standard meaning, rather than that the speaker can mean something non-standardly when so uttering. Linguistic conventionalism typically holds that Mrs Malaprop, in uttering ‘a nice derangement of epitaphs’, might mean a nice arrangement of epithets but that her words do not. I suggest that Davidson’s view of language provides him with good grounds to claim that the nonstandard meanings can be attributed to a speaker’s utterances and not merely the speakers themselves. However, I also suggest that in many cases of interpretation of non-standard utterances, communication is successful because an interpreter first grasps the speaker’s relevant intentions, rather than the meaning of the utterance itself. Indeed, in a single communicative exchange containing an innovative utterance successfully interpreted, it is not the meaning of the utterance that one is entitled to say is identified, but what a speaker means to communicate when he produces an utterance.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Davidson; intention; interpretation; non-standard meaning; speaker; utterance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of West England

Publication date: November 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Empedocles aims to provide a publication and discussion platform for those working at the interface of philosophy and the study of communication, in all its aspects. This Journal is published in cooperation with the Section for the Philosophy of Communication of ECREA, the European Communication Reserach and Education Association.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Intellect Books page
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • 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