ABSTRACT

The phrase ‘theory of meaning’ occupies a central place in philosophical logic. The thought that elucidation of the concept of linguistic meaning must proceed via an account of what it is for members of a population to speak that language is a compelling one. A theory of meaning and a theory of force jointly license the redescription of utterances as linguistic acts of certain kinds and with certain contents. The inevitability of some propositional attitude constraint follows from the fact that any redescription of behaviour as intentional action must render that behaviour intelligible in the light of the agent’s propositional attitudes. The natural place to look for richer accounts of the actual language relation, and of kinds of linguistic acts, in terms of propositional attitudes, is in H.P. Grice’s programme. The concept of s-meaning is usually brought in to meet the fact that examination answers, confessions, reminders, and utterances directed at counter-suggestible audiences are not cases of s-meaning.