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Towards a collaborative critical pragmatics

Grant number: 22/04839-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2023
Effective date (End): January 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Marco Antonio Caron Ruffino
Grantee:Eduarda Calado Barbosa
Host Institution: Centro de Lógica, Epistemologia e História da Ciência (CLE). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The goal of this research project is to develop the so-called Critical Pragmatics Framework (CPF) by solving imprecisions in its semantics-pragmatics interface as well as in its general model of pragmatics. The CPF is the culmination of John Perry's programmatic criticism of the New Theories of Reference, which has been in development through various co-authorships since the 1980s. This critical program targets mono-propositionalism - namely, the idea that the proposition is the only source of information about what is said by an utterance - an assumption that is adopted by most theories of singular reference in the market today. Even though its treatment of the classical problems of the individuation of coreferential terms and of empty terms is meritorious, the CPF is problematic in what concerns its model of pragmatics, which is excessively idealized and centered in the speaker's agency thus neglecting the coordinated and collaborative nature of acts of reference as well as leaving imprecisions about pragmatic mechanisms and their impact on the attribution of truth-conditional content to utterances. Our contribution will be, firstly, to offer an explanation of such mechanisms and their impact on semantic interpretation. Secondly, we will use Theories of Collaborative Reference and the paradigm of in situ spontaneous communication to offer a model of pragmatics that is more collaborative and empirically informed. Both contributions will be important steps in the sense of providing a much-needed theory of singular reference that is not only successful in solving classical philosophical problems, but that also dialogues with a realistic view of human communication. (AU)

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