Article published in:New Developments in Relevance Theory
Edited by Manuel Padilla Cruz and Agnieszka Piskorska
[Pragmatics & Cognition 28:2] 2021
► pp. 416–440
Why truth matters
When relevance meets truthfulness
This article is about truth and relevance. It first discusses the concept of truth in formal semantics and pragmatics, mainly the Gricean, neo-Gricean and post-Gricean approaches to meaning. What is particularly crucial is the relationship between pragmatic meaning and truth, since, from a Gricean perspective, meaning is defined as non-truth-conditional, which in turn raises the question of how truth can be a pragmatic issue. A second issue is the relationship between truth and relevance, as developed in relevance theory. A third key point is how truth matters as regards the common ground. In order to illustrate how truth is connected to the common ground, bullshit, post-truth, fake news and lies are discussed, which raise the issue of how truth can be defeated in verbal communication, and mainly how false assumptions can be entertained as true.
- 2.Truth and meaning
- 3.Truth in Gricean and neo-Gricean pragmatics
- 4.Relevance and truth in communication
- 5.Truth and the common ground
- 6.The defeat of truth in verbal communication
- 7.What does the common ground consist of?
Published online: 27 June 2022
2021 Two minutes hate. Plenary lecture delivered at the 17th International Pragmatics Conference. Winterthur: 2 July 2021.
Beaver, David & Jason Stanley
Forthcoming. Hustle: The politics of language. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Cohen, L. Jonathan
Dowty, David, Robert E. Wall & Stanley Peters
Green, Mitchell S. & John N. Williams
Grice, H. Paul
Gygax, Pascal, Sandrine Zufferey & Ute Gabriel
Karttunen, Lauri & Stanley Peters
Forthcoming. The interplay of linguistic, conceptual and encyclopedic knowledge in meaning construction and comprehension. In Jesus Romero-Trillo ed. The handbook of language and context Cambridge Cambridge University Press
Levinson, Stephen C.
Mercier, Hugo & Dan Sperber
Forthcoming. The role of context in Gricean and neo-Gricean pragmatics. In Jesus Romero-Trillo ed. The Cambridge handbook of language and context Cambridge Cambridge University Press
Moore, George E.
Pinker, Steven, Martin A. Novak & James L. Lee
2008 The logic of indirect speech. PNAS 105(3). 833–838. www.pnas.org cgi pnas.0707192105.
Sadock, Jerrold M.
Searle, John R.
Sperber, Dan & Deirdre Wilson
Sperber, Dan, Fabrice Clément, Christophe Heintz, Olivier Mascaro, Hugo Mercier, Gloria Origgi & Deirdre Wilson
Stalnaker, Ronald C.
Wilson, Deirdre & Robyn Carston
Wilson, Deirdre & Dan Sperber