The normativity of meaning defended
Analysis, 67, (294), . (doi:10.1111/j.1467-8284.2007.00663.x).
Meaning, according to a significant number of philosophers, is an intrinsically normative notion.1 For this reason, it is suggested, meaning is not conducive to a naturalistic explanation. In this paper, I shall not address whether this is indeed so. Nor shall I present arguments in support of the normativity thesis (see Glock 2005; Kripke 1982). Instead, I shall examine and respond to two forceful objections recently (and independently) raised against it by Boghossian (2005), Hattiangadi (2006) and Miller (2006). Although I shall argue that the objections are unsuccessful, they are worth attending to, not only because the normativity thesis is so widely accepted and is thought to have such ramifications but, most importantly, because doing so offers the opportunity to help clarify how it is to be understood.
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