Article/Publication Details

Intention, Convention and Truth-Conditions

(Original title: Intence, konvence a pravdivostní podmínky)
Organon F, 1999, vol. 6, No 4, pp. 322-337.
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Abstract

The paper discusses some of Peter Strawsonś views in philosophy of language. It does not focus on the core of his original achievements in this field, but rather characterizes his position towards the conceptions of three other major philosophers of the second half of the 20th century. The first part deals with Strawson\' criticism of Austinś account of conventional nature of illocutionary force. The author still maintains that force can be regarded as conventional in a week sense derived from the institutional nature of speech acts as well as in a stronger sense concerning the determination of the force of particular utterances. Strawson has, however, rightly rejected simplifications based on an unjustified generalization of specific features of certain "ritualized" speech act types. The second part considers Strawsonś criticism of the original Gricean definition of uttererś meaning which, among other things, revealed the mechanism generating infinite regress in definitions of this type. The author argues that the complexity of the Grice-type definitions does not reflect the real complexity of communication but rather internal problems of the theory, arising from the misinterpretation of communicative transparency as overtness of the speakerś intentions. The third part characterizes Strawsonś views on the relation between two projects in the theory of meaning: one based on the notion of speakerś intentions and the other on the notion of truth-conditions. Strawsonś programmatic considerations anticipated in important respects futher discussions about Davidsonś project as well as the development of the project itself.

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