The Pragmatics of Insensitive Assessments: Understanding The Relativity of Assessments of Judgments of Personal Taste, Epistemic Modals, and More

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
In assessing the veridicality of utterances, we normally seem to assess the satisfaction of conditions that the speaker had been concerned to get right in making the utterance. However, the debate about assessor-relativism about epistemic modals, predicates of taste, gradable adjectives and conditionals has been largely driven by cases in which seemingly felicitous assessments of utterances are insensitive to aspects of the context of utterance that were highly relevant to the speaker’s choice of words. In this paper, we offer an explanation of why certain locutions invite insensitive assessments, focusing primarily on ’tasty’ and ’might’. We spell out some reasons why felicitous insensitive assessments are puzzling and argue briefly that recent attempts to accommodate such assessments (including attempts by John MacFarlane, Kai von Fintel and Anthony Gillies) all fail to provide more than hints at a solution to the puzzle. In the main part of the paper, we develop an account of felicitous insensitive assessments by identifying a number of pragmatic factors that influence the felicity of assessments. Before closing, we argue that the role of these factors extend beyond cases considered in the debate about assessor-relativism and fit comfortably with standard contextualist analyses of the relevant locutions.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
BJRTPO-3
Revision history
Archival date: 2012-12-13
View upload history
Chapters BETA
References found in this work BETA
Relativism and Monadic Truth.Cappelen, Herman & Hawthorne, John
Relativism and Monadic Truth.Cappelen, Herman & Hawthorne, John

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2011-12-18

Total views
367 ( #11,988 of 50,177 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
34 ( #18,430 of 50,177 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.