Discourse, Beliefs and Intentions: Semantic Defaults and Propositional Attitude Ascription

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November 1999



This book is about beliefs, language, communication and cognition. It deals with the fundamental issue of the interpretation of the speaker's utterance expressing a belief and reporting on beliefs of other people in the form of oratio obliqua. The main aim of the book is to present a new account of the problem of interpreting utterances expressing beliefs and belief reports in terms of an approach called Default Semantics.


Chapter headings and selected sub-headings: Preface Introduction
Semantic Ambiguities and Semantic Underspecification Ambiguous discourse? Highlights from ambiguity debates What is said Towards delimiting implicatures
Semantic Defaults Intentions in communication The primary intention principle and definite descriptions The principle of the parsimony of levels Other applications Defaults in dynamic semantics
Intentionality and Propositional Attitudes 'Directedness' of acts of consciousness: the phenomenological tradition Intentional relation and defaults Intentions and intentionality Are intentions in the head? Intentionality and ambiguity: concluding remarks
The Default De Re Principle Propositional attitudes: a close-up Whose meaning? On sense and mode of presentation
De Re, De Dicto, and De Dicto Proper Red giants and white dwarfs: context-dependence of attitude ascription Default De Re
Lexicon and the Power of Referring Redefining referring expressions Proper names and modes of presentation Referring by indexicals Referent accessibility and the strength of referring
Vehicles of Thought in Attitude Ascription Thoughts and acts of thought Vehicles of thought Vehicles and attitudes The core of meaning
Discourse Representation Theory and Propositional Attitudes Semantics and pragmatics revisited Context Belief expressions and belief reports in DRT DRT and intentions
Belief Reports in a Contrastive Perspective Belief, culture, and translation Contrastive semantics and pragmatics Context and markedness Complemetizer that in contrast
Denouement: Double Occam's Razor The semantics of common sense Beyond propositional attitudes Final remarks
Bibliography Index


Dr Billy Clark, Middlesex University: Extremely interesting and original...the majority of researchers interested in this topic are explicitly aware of the fact that it crosses the boundary between (linguistics and philosophy). This book clearly crosses that boundary and seems to have a broader scope than most works in this area. Alessandro Tavano, University of Trieste, Linguist List: ... represents an attempt at bridging the gap between actual uses of utterances in communication, which seem intuitively governed by default rules, and theoretical descriptions, which require an explicit model to fit non homogeneous data. This book makes it clear that Default Semantics represents an interesting attempt to propose a unified theory of utterance meaning. Frank Brisard, Pragmatics: ...of interest to linguists, philosophers of language (and of mind), social anthropologists, and cognitive scientists. Alessandro Capone, Pragmatics and Cognition, volume nine, number two: I believe that this is an extremely coherent and well argued book. I am persuaded that the reader will find it rich in ideas and very instructive. I am also sure it will bear fruit in due time and have some very important ramifications...I want to recomend this book wholeheartedly.
EAN: 9780080430607
ISBN: 0080430600
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: November 1999
Seitenanzahl: 388 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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