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Pragmatic Semantics

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The division of labour between semantics and pragmatics, and the proper delimitation of the respective disciplines, has been thoroughly discussed within different theoretical approaches. Research conducted in recent years concentrates on the issue of pragmaticising meaning, i.e. shifting the burden of theoretical analysis from semantics to pragmatics.

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26. fn1 1 Cf. Editorial Note, International Review of Pragmatics1: 1 (2009).
27. fn2 2 Especially as “Wittgenstein did not go so far in §43 as to identify the meaning of a sentence or phrase with its use” ( Salmon, 2005: 317, n. 1), as should be clear from a close reading of the appropriate paragraph from the Philosophical Investigations: “For a large class of cases – though not for all – in which we employ the word meaning it can be defined thus: the meaningof a word is its use in the language” ( Wittgenstein, [1953]: §43).
28. fn3 3 To be further distinguished from “linguistic pragmatism”: “the philosophical way forward from the ideas of the American pragmatists (…), allied with the later Wittgenstein and the Heidegger of Division One of Being and Time” ( Brandom, 2004: 15).
29. fn4 4 Cf. John Searle’s remark: “The center of attention has now moved from language to mind. Why? Well, first, I think many of us working in the philosophy of language see many of the questions of language as special cases of questions about the mind. Our use of language is an expression of our more biologically fundamental mental capacities, and we will not fully understand the functioning of language until we see how it is grounded in our mental abilities” ( Searle, 2004: 10-11).
30. fn5 5 For a discussion of the “border wars” between semantics and pragmatics, see Horn (2006). Very characteristically, the volume with Horn’s article was entitled Where Semantics Meets Pragmatics.
31. fn6 6 Carnap’s Principle of Toleranceconcerns the language of logic: “ In logic, there are no morals. Everyone is at liberty to build his own logic, i.e. his own form of language, as he wishes. All that is required of him is that, if he wishes to discuss it, he must state his methods clearly, and give syntactical rules instead of philosophical arguments” ( Carnap, 2000: 52).

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Affiliations: 1: University of Łódź, Poland


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