What does talk of meaning mean? All thinking consists in natural happenings in the brain. Talk of meaning though, has resisted interpretation in terms of. Meaning and Normativity. Allan Gibbard*. In the past dozen years, phrases like ” the normativity of meanin have swept into the philosophy of language. Meaning and Normativity, by AllanGibbard. Oxford: Oxford University Press, , xiv + pp. ISBN ‐0‐19‐‐4 hb £

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The book draws, motivates, and sketches an analysis of these concepts in terms of oughts, which in turn are explained through expressivism.

Devices from metaethics thus inform philosophy of language. The oughts are primitive and subjective.

Central devices for the project are drawn from Horwich but are taken normative; these include treating meaning through deflation and synonymy. Conceptual truth for thoughts and analyticity for sentences voicing thoughts are explained as specially invariant normative features, and the treatment is internalistic, invoking the credence one should have given total evidence.


Talk of analyticity is initially provisional, with a gloss developed in terms of the ensuing metatheory of meaning. Tests for this metatheory are then devised in terms of the metatheory itself.

Meaning and Normativity – Hardcover – Allan Gibbard – Oxford University Press

Expressivism has two prongs: Strongest forms of expressivism and nonnaturalism converge in their theses, but not in their explanations. Don’t have an account?

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Timothy Williamson, Gibbard on meaning and normativity – PhilPapers

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