Commentary: Achieving adequacy and commitment in pragmatics

Michael Silverstein


If the thread that connects these papers one to another is the theme of violence and social struggle, they are at the same time quite diverse in approaches and subject matters. So diverse, in fact, that in order to see how they present material on violence and social struggle, we must begin by situating the variety of sociocultural material they bring to our attention in the story-lines, as it were, of their respective approaches. This grouping, or re-grouping, of the papers will, I think, lead us to seeing what is involved in giving what we might term an adequate pragmatic account of the phenomena they treat, though it is not my intention here to give an actual re-analysis of the various materials. My purpose is rather to be able to relate such criteria of adequacy to the particular commitments we have as social scientists to elucidating and thereby engaging with conditions that people more generally face in the inherent politics of sociocultural experience.

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