Volume 10, Issue 1, Spring 2016
Conventions of Usage vs. Meaning Conventions
In this paper I criticise some aspects of the view that Ernie Lepore and Mathew Stone propose in their book Imagination and Convention. I concentrate on their analysis of indirect speech acts and contrast it with the view held by Searle. I point out some problems that arise for Lepore and Stone’s ambiguity view and argue that admitting conventions of usage that are not meaning conventions allows one to avoid postulating global ambiguity, which in my opinion threatens the view proposed in Imagination and Convention. In addition, if one admits that there might be such conventions of usage, one is in a position to provide an adequate analysis of sub-sentential speech acts and semantic underdetermination as well as indirect speech acts.