No norm for (off the record) implicatures

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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It is widely held that there is a distinctive norm of assertion. A plausible idea is that there is an analogous, perhaps weaker, norm for indirect communication via implicatures. I argue against this type of proposal. My claim is that the norm of assertion is a social norm governing public updates to the conversational record. Off the record implicatures are not subject to social norms of this type. I grant that, as happens in general with intentional actions, off the record communicative acts may be subject to normative assessments on different levels (for instance, regarding their moral or prudential appropriateness). However, such assessments do not generate distinctive norms that apply to all cases of implicature.

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Javier González De Prado Salas
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia


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