Framework of an Intersubjectivist Theory of Meaning
Corredor (Cristina)
Source: Sorites 8, January 1997: 33-60
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

    Here a critical revision is carried out of the intersubjectivist theory of meaning embodied in the Formal (Universal) Pragmatics developed within the framework of the Theory of Communicative Action (J. Habermas). According to very recent «internal» criticisms, only a version of H. Putnam’s theory of direct reference can avoid the kind of meaning holism and linguistic relativism which assails Habermas’ foundation of shared meaning on the intersubjective validity of a rule. A more detailed analysis of Putnam’s views, as well as of the referred criticisms, shows that they in fact represent an unorthodox reading trying to conciliate Putnam’s first functionalist theory with his second pragmatical Internal Realism. Finally it is concluded that only a quasi-Kantian view on the formal-pragmatical presuppositions underlying epistemic language use seems to offer an answer to the core de iure question: what makes it possible to justify validity for already constitued meanings in epistemic contexts.

Comment:

Filed electronically with the full edition of Sorites 08

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