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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

(p.202) 9 Mood, Force, and Convention
The Seas of Language

Michael Dummett (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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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