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The Seas of Language$
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Michael Dummett

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198236214

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198236212.001.0001

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Mood, Force, and Convention

Mood, Force, and Convention

Chapter:
(p.202) 9 Mood, Force, and Convention
Source:
The Seas of Language
Author(s):

Michael Dummett (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198236212.003.0009

Donald Davidson raised the issue of the link between mood, force, and convention. Because he does not make a distinction between the force of an utterance and the point of it, subsuming both under a general notion of use to which he put his utterance, Davidson attempts to delete any account of force from a theory of meaning, and associate it with the general procedure of divining someone else's intentions. This he cannot maintain, since, to grasp what it is for a sentence to carry a particular kind of force is to be master of a practice, of something that has to be learned and whose existence depends upon a common participation in it by the speakers of the language.

Keywords:   assertion, Davidson, force, mood, theory of meaning, truth, Wittgenstein

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