Must we measure what we mean?

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
This paper excavates a debate concerning the claims of ordinary language philosophers that took place during the middle of the last century. The debate centers on the status of statements about ‘what we say’. On one side of the debate, critics of ordinary language philosophy argued that statements about ‘what we say’ should be evaluated as empirical observations about how people do in fact speak, on a par with claims made in the language sciences. By that standard, ordinary language philosophers were not entitled to the claims that they made about what we would say about various topics. On the other side of the debate, defenders of the methods of ordinary language philosophy sought to explain how philosophers can be entitled to statements about what we would say without engaging in extensive observations of how people do in fact use language. In this paper, I defend the idea that entitlement to claims about what we say can be had in a way that doesn’t require empirical observation, and I argue that ordinary language philosophers are engaged in a different project than linguists or empirically minded philosophers of language, which is subject to different conditions of success.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
HANMWM
Upload history
Archival date: 2017-03-03
View other versions
Added to PP index
2017-03-03

Total views
442 ( #10,954 of 54,395 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
37 ( #19,345 of 54,395 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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