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The Pragmatic Circle

Kepa Korta and John Perry
Synthese
Vol. 165, No. 3 (Dec., 2008), pp. 347-357
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40271120
Page Count: 11
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The Pragmatic Circle
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Abstract

Classical Gricean pragmatics is usually conceived as dealing with far-side pragmatics, aimed at computing implicatures. It involves reasoning about why what was said, was said. Near-side pragmatics, on the other hand, is pragmatics in the service of determining, together with the semantical properties of the words used, what was said. But this raises the specter of 'the pragmatic circle.' If Gricean pragmatics seeks explanations for why someone said what they did, how can there be Gricean pragmatics on the near-side? Gricean reasoning seems to require what is said to get started. But then if Gricean reasoning is needed to get to what is said, we have a circle.

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