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Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 17, Issue 3, 2017

On Stephen Neale’s manuscript "Silent Reference"

Stephen Schiffer
Pages 293-317

Gricean Semantics and Vague Speaker-Meaning

Presentations of Gricean semantics, including Stephen Neale’s in “Silent Reference,” totally ignore vagueness, even though virtually every utterance is vague. I ask how Gricean semantics might be adjusted to accommodate vague speaker-meaning. My answer is that it can’t accommodate it: the Gricean program collapses in the face of vague speaker-meaning. The Gricean might, however, find some solace in knowing that every other extant meta-semantic and semantic program is in the same boat.