This dissertation argues for Semantic Variance, the thesis that nearly every utterance is such that there is no proposition that more than one languge user takes to be that utterance's truth-conditional content. I argue that Semantic Variance is problematic for standard theories concerning the nature of communication, the epistemic significance of ordinary disputes, the semantics of speech reports, and the nature of linguistic competence. In response to the problems arising from the truth of Semantic Variance, I develop new accounts of the transmission of relevant information, ordinary disputes, and the semantics of speech reports. Towards the end of the dissertation I outline a pluralistic account about the nature of communication and linguistic competence.
|Commitee:||Dorr, Cian, Schiffer, Stephen|
|School:||New York University|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Communication, Disagreement, Linguistic competence, Relevance, Speech reports, Truth-conditional content|
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