Semantic normativity

Philosophical Studies 102 (2):203-26 (2001)
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Abstract
My paper examines the popular idea, defended by Kripke, that meaning is an essentially normative notion. I consider four common versions of this idea and suggest that none of them can be supported, either because the alleged normativity has nothing to do with normativity or because it cannot plausibly be said that meaning is normative in the sense suggested. I argue that contrary to received opinion, we don’t need normativity to secure the possibility of meaning. I conclude by considering the repercussions of rejecting semantic normativity on three central issues: justification, communication, and naturalism.
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