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The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy 

The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy

Edited by: Maite Ezcurdia and Robert J. Stainton

Publication Date: March 14, 2013
600pp • Paperback
ISBN: 9781554810697 / 1554810698

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The boundary between semantics and pragmatics has been important since the early twentieth century, but in the last twenty-five years it has become the central issue in the philosophy of language. This anthology collects classic philosophical papers on the topic, along with recent key contributions. It stresses not only the nature of the boundary, but also its importance for philosophy generally.


"A highly useful collection containing many influential papers, including a number of classic pieces. It is a natural choice for survey courses in semantics and pragmatics." – Scott Soames, Distinguished Professor; Director, USC School of Philosophy

"A wide-ranging collection of must-read articles on philosophical topics pertaining to, revolving around, or just straddling the line between semantics and pragmatics." – Kent Bach, Professor Emeritus, San Francisco State University

"Ezcurdia and Stainton provide an elegant overview of the different ways to understand the distinction between semantics and pragmatics, and the main attempts to locate the boundary between them. They have selected the definitive papers that bring into focus the significance of finding this boundary, and its implications for the study of metaphor, for the relation between thought and language, and for contemporary discussions of contextualism and relativism. This anthology is an ideal text for any course in philosophy, linguistics, or cognitive science that is aimed at introducing undergraduate or graduate students to the potential scope and limits of systematic semantic theorizing." – Susanna Siegel, Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University

Maite Ezcurdia is Research Fellow at the Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Robert J. Stainton is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario.

Academics please note that this is a title classified as having a restricted allocation of complimentary copies. While the availability of bound complimentary copies is restricted to desk copies only, electronic complimentary copies are readily available for those professors wishing to consider this title for possible course adoption. Should you choose to adopt the book after viewing an electronic copy we will be happy to provide a bound desk copy.

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  1. Peter F. Strawson, "On Referring" (1950)
  2. J. L. Austin, "Performative Utterances" (1956)
  3. Keith S. Donnellan, "Reference and Definite Descriptions" (1966)
  4. H. Paul Grice, "Logic and Conversation" (1967/1975)
  5. Saul Kripke, "Speaker's Reference and Semantic Reference" (1977)
  6. David Kaplan, "Demonstratives" and "Afterthoughts" (1977/1989)
  7. Robert C. Stalnaker, "Assertion" (1978)
  8. David Lewis, "Scorekeeping in a Language Game" (1979)
  9. John Perry, "Thought without Representation" (1986)
  10. Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson, "Précis of Relevance: Communication and Cognition" (1987)


  1. John R. Searle, "Literal Meaning" (1978)
  2. Robyn Carston, "Implicature, Explicature and Truth-Theoretic Semantics" (1988)
  3. Kent Bach, "Conversational Impliciture" (1994)
  4. Jason Stanley, "Context and Logical Form" (2000)
  5. François Récanati, "Unarticulated Constituents" (2002)
  6. Reinaldo Elugardo and Robert J. Stainton, "Shorthand, Syntactic Ellipsis, and the Pragmatic Determinants of What Is Said" (2004)
  7. Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore, "A Tall Tale: In Defense of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism" (2004)
  8. Emma Borg, "Minimalism versus Contextualism in Semantics" (2007)


A. Metaphor

  1. Donald Davidson, "What Metaphors Mean" (1978)
  2. John R. Searle, "Metaphor" (1979)
  3. Catherine Wearing, "Metaphor and What Is Said" (2006)

B. Knowledge and Mind

  1. David Lewis, "Elusive Knowledge" (1996)
  2. Jennifer M. Saul, "Substitution and Simple Sentences" (1997)
  3. Max Kölbel, "Faultless Disagreement" (2003)


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The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy

2013 • 600pp • Paperback • 9781554810697 / 1554810698

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Broadview Press acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund, and also acknowledges the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Freehand Books, an imprint of Broadview, acknowledges the support of the Canadian Council of the Arts.