A Purpose for Context Sensitivity

Dissertation, King’s College London (2012)
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Abstract
This thesis has two parts. In Part I there is an argument for the conclusion that a linguistic phenomenon known as (radical) context-sensitivity is to be expected given the limitations of those who use language to reason about empirical states of affairs. The phenomenon arises as a consequence of a process that must be performed to use language to reason validly. In Part II it is explained why the phenomenon, understood in light of the discussion of Part I, does not threaten the possibility of communication. Some potential readers might be interested to know that in Part I there's a fair amount of exegesis of arguments for the existence of (radical) context-sensitivity put forward by Charles Travis. Some potential readers might be interested to know that in Part II use is made of work by Erving Goffman and some conversation analysts.
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Archival date: 2019-09-23
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