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1. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Dunja Jutronić Introduction
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2. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Dan Sperber, Deirdre Wilson Beyond Speaker’s Meaning
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Our main aim in this paper is to show that constructing an adequate theory of communication involves going beyond Grice’s notion of speaker’s meaning. After considering some of the difficulties raised by Grice’s three-clause definition of speaker’s meaning, we argue that the characterisation of ostensive communication introduced in relevance theory can provide a conceptually unified explanation of a much wider range of communicative acts than Grice was concerned with, including cases of both ‘showing that’ and ‘telling that’, and with both determinate and indeterminate import
3. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Anne Bezuidenhout Cognitive Environments and Conversational Tailoring
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This paper explores the psychological notion of context as cognitive environment (CE) that is part of the Relevance Theory (RT) framework and describes the way in which such CEs are constrained during the course of conversation as the conversational partners engage in “conversional tailoring”.
4. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Zsófia Zvolenszky Inferring Content: Metaphor and Malapropism
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It is traditionally thought that metaphorical utterances constitute a special—nonliteral—kind of departure from lexical constraints on meaning. Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson have been forcefully arguing against this: according to them, relevance theory’s comprehension/interpretation procedure for metaphorical utterances does not require details specific to metaphor (or nonliteral discourse); instead, the same type of comprehension procedure as that in place for literal utterances covers metaphors as well. One of Sperber and Wilson’s central reasons for holding this is that metaphorical utterances occupy one end of a continuum that includes literal, loose and hyperbolic utterances with no sharp boundaries in between them. Call this the continuum argument about interpreting metaphors. My aim is to show that this continuum argument doesn’t work. For if it were to work, it would have an unwanted consequence: it could be converted into a continuum argument about interpreting linguistic errors, including slips of the tongue, of which malaprops are a special case. In particular, based on the premise that the literal–loose–metaphorical continuum extends to malaprops also, we could conclude that the relevance-theoretic comprehension procedure for malaprops does not require details specific to linguistic errors, that is, details beyond those already in place for interpreting literal utterances. Given that we have good reason to reject this conclusion, we also have good reason to rethink the conclusion of the continuum argument about interpreting metaphors and consider what additional (metaphor-specific) details—about the role of constraints due to what is lexically encoded by the words used—might be added to relevance-theoretic comprehension procedures.
5. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Diana Mazzarella Pragmatics and Epistemic Vigilance: The Deployment of Sophisticated Interpretative Strategies
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Sperber (1994) suggests that competent hearers can deploy sophisticated interpretative strategies in order to cope with deliberate deception or to avoid misunderstandings due to speaker’s incompetence. This paper investigates the cognitive underpinnings of sophisticated interpretative strategies and suggests that they emerge from the interaction between a relevance-guided comprehension procedure and epistemic vigilance mechanisms. My proposal sheds a new light on the relationship between comprehension and epistemic assessment. While epistemic vigilance mechanisms are typically assumed to assess the believability of the output of the comprehension system (Sperber et al. 2010), I argue that epistemic assessment plays an additional role in determining this very output.
6. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Nenad Miščević Pejoratives and Relevance: Synchronic and Diachronic Issues
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The paper considers a possible relevantist treatment, in the spirit of Wilson and Sperber’s work, of pejoratives and argues for three claims concerning them. On the level of synchronic issues it suggests that the negative content of pejoratives, at least in its minimal scope, is the normal part of their lexical meaning, and not a result of extra-semantic enrichment. It thus suggests an evaluative-content approach for the relevantist, in contrast to its neutral-content alternative. On the more general side, it suggests that the relevance theorist owes us a clear story about what kind of material is normally encoded. Concerning the issues of diachronic behavior of pejoratives, the paper suggests primarily the application of relevantist theory of irony, and secondarily some links with theory of metaphor. A relevantist theory of echoic use, and proposed for irony, can be used to understand the appropriation of pejoratives by their original target group, and the reversal of valence that goes with it. There is an interesting parallel between the echoing-cum-reversal processes Wilson and Sperber propose for irony and the repeating-and-reversing process typicall of appropriation of pejoratives. Finally, a brief application of the relevantist understanding of metaphor is proposed as a tool for understanding the genealogy of pejoratives of fi gurative origin. The dynamics, history and development of pejoratives has not been systematically addressed by philosophical theories of pejoratives: a collaboration with relevance theory might prove a useful strategy.
7. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Nenad Smokrović Argumentation as a Means for Extending Knowledge
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In this paper I am developing the theses that argumentation is a means for extending knowledge. The theses are founded on two focal points:1. Reasoning is designed for argumentation, and 2. Argumentation process is an exceptionally successful media that provokes usage of methods reliable for the extension of knowledge. The first point relies on Sperber’s and Mercier’s evolutionary psychological approach to argumentation which I consider the most convincing theory in the field. Taking this ground as a departing point, the goal of the paper is to broaden this approach with epistemological insights that I base on Williamson’s safety theory of knowledge.
8. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Dunja Jutronić Cognitive Pragmatics and Variational Pragmatics: Possible Interaction?
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In this paper I attempt to look into a possible way in which cognitive pragmatics can help out variational studies in explaining the processes of language change. After broadly setting the scene this article proceeds by giving basic information about variational pragmatics. Then it concentrates on Sperber and Wilson’s relevance theory and its possible interaction with social sciences, namely its possible application in sociolinguistics. I next present my own research of Split (urban) dialect/vernacular change where I concentrate on explanatory side, asking which explanation would be the best one for the changes of some variables in the dialect. The interpretation and discussion of the fi ndings preceed the discussion of salience as the explanatory tool for language change as seen from cognitivists and variationists with the hope that such discussions can bring closer cognitivists, i.e. relevantists, to sociolinguists, i.e. variationists.
book review
9. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Smilja Cukrov Philosophy of Science: A New Introduction
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