New York: Oxford University Press USA (2023)
This book presents and develops inferential expressivism, a novel approach to the study of meaning which combines elements of the expressivist and inferentialist programmes. Expressivists explain the meaning of words in terms of the attitudes that they are used to express; inferentialists explain the meaning of words in terms of the inferences that they are used to draw. The book lays out the philosophical foundations of inferential expressivism by articulating and defending the view that the meaning of an expression is to be explained in terms of the inferences we draw involving the attitudes we express. The book, moreover, lays out the logical foundations of inferential expressivism by showing how to implement the view rigorously by means of novel formal systems which can deal with a variety of speech acts. As the book shows, by joining forces expressivism and inferentialism can meet their key challenges whilst retaining their distinctive insights and advantages. The book goes on to demonstrate the fruitfulness of the inferential expressivist approach to meaning by applying it to a diverse range of linguistic phenomena, including epistemic modals, probability operators, conditionals, moral predicates, the truth predicate, and propositional attitude predicates.