On Linguistic Evidence for Expressivism

Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 86:155-180 (2019)
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Abstract

This paper argues that there is a class of terms, or uses of terms, that are best accounted for by an expressivist account. We put forward two sets of criteria to distinguish between expressive and factual terms. The first set relies on the action-guiding nature of expressive language. The second set relies on the difference between one's evidence for making an expressive vs. factual statement. We then put those criteria to work to show, first, that the basic evaluative adjectives such as ‘good’ have expressive as well as factual uses and, second, that many adjectives whose primary meanings are factual, such as ‘powerful’, also have expressive uses.

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Isidora Stojanovic
Institut Jean Nicod

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