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Convention and language

Synthese 117 (3):295-312 (1998)

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  1. Use Theories of Meaning.Marc Staudacher - 2010 - Dissertation, University of Amsterdam
    This dissertation is a contribution to the philosophy of language. Its central question is: In virtue of which facts do linguistic expressions mean what they do? E.g. why does “apple” mean apple in English? The question receives a systematic answer; in short: Linguistic expressions mean what they do because among their users, there are linguistic conventions and social norms to use and understand them in certain ways. The answer is clarified and defended as a central thesis. For in this form, (...)
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  • What’s Done Here—Explaining Behavior in Terms of Customs and Norms.Todd Jones - 2007 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):363-393.
    Terms like “norm,” “ custom,” “convention,” “tradition,” and “culture” are used throughout social science, and throughout everyday conversation,to describe certain types of behaviors. Yet it is not very clear what people mean by them. In this paper, I try to make clearer what is meant by these terms and what makes the behavior they describe possible.
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  • Ordinary Language, Conventionalism and a Priori Knowledge.Henry Jackman - 2001 - Dialectica 55 (4):315-325.
    This paper examines popular‘conventionalist’explanations of why philosophers need not back up their claims about how‘we’use our words with empirical studies of actual usage. It argues that such explanations are incompatible with a number of currently popular and plausible assumptions about language's ‘social’character. Alternate explanations of the philosopher's purported entitlement to make a priori claims about‘our’usage are then suggested. While these alternate explanations would, unlike the conventionalist ones, be compatible with the more social picture of language, they are each shown to (...)
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  • "We Always Have a Beer After the Meeting": How Norms, Customs, Conventions, and the Like Explain Behavior.Todd Jones - 2006 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (3):251-275.
    There are a vast number of ways of explaining human behavior in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation. One family of accounts seeks to explain behavior using terms such as norms, customs, tradition, convention , and culture . Despite the ubiquity of these terms, it is not fully clear how these concepts really explain behavior, how they are related, how they differ, and what they contrast with. In this article, I hope to answer such questions. Key Words: norm • (...)
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