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By Eric McCready

This publication is an exploration of the way wisdom in regards to the reliability of data resources manifests itself in linguistic phenomena and use. It specializes in cooperation in language use and on how concerns of reliability impact what's performed with the knowledge obtained via language. Eric McCready offers a close account of the phenomena of hedging and evidentiality and analyses them utilizing instruments from video game thought, dynamic semantics, and formal epistemology. Hedging is argued to be a mechanism utilized by audio system to guard their reputations for cooperativity from harm inflicted by way of infelicitous discourse strikes. The pragmatics of evidential use can be mentioned by way of the histories of interplay that impression recognition: the writer argues that prior adventure with the facts resource listed through the evidential determines how the method of including details will continue.

The ebook makes many new connections among probably disparate elements of linguistic that means and perform. will probably be of curiosity to experts in semantics, pragmatics, and philosophy of language, in addition to these within the fields of philosophy and cognitive technological know-how with an curiosity in language and epistemology.

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Extra resources for Reliability in pragmatics

Sample text

Intuitively, it is, or might be; the answer presumably depends on existing knowledge about my utility function and how it correlates with your own. If our utilities are correlated, you are likely to judge me as cooperative, in that I have an incentive to give you correct information, even though it is questionable; if they are not, you are likely to guess that I am trying to avoid possible repercussions of my actions. What then (if anything) can be said about what a hearer ought to do with content like this in the general case?

2 Cooperation, evolution, and reputation Evolutionary theory takes selection of species or individuals to take place through a process of survival of the fittest. The implication is that individuals behave as fitness maximizers; in terms of standard mathematical models of behavior, they attempt to find the maximal possible value for a utility function in a game that describes the interaction they face (McElreath and Boyd 2007). In game-theoretic terms, the expectation is that the behavior of the individual organisms in the interaction forms a Nash equilibrium.

This is the benefit to the speaker—given the hedge, damage to her reputation can be avoided, which is of obvious use given the discussion in the last chapter. This idea is cashed out formally in a model of reputations based on repeated games. The question of what credence the hearer should put in information flagged in this way will be delayed to later in the book (chapter 9); as it turns out, this problem instantiates a much larger class of pragmatic problems about transmitted information which is uncertain or otherwise marked as coming from a particular source, itself with a particular degree of reliability.

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