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You may choose from one of the following topics.

1.Grice suggests an analysis of what is involved in my meaning non-naturally that p by my utterance S:

(NN) I intend S to bring my audience to believe that p, not for any old reason, but because they recognize that I intend S to have this result.

Explain, through a discussion of one of Grice’s examples, why he thinks that an intention to produce a belief by means of the recognition of this intention is so important. Come up with an example which poses some difficulty for the analysis, then say how Grices analysis might be revised in response to your counterexample.

For example, one might question whether (NN) is really necessary for non-natural meaning. Why should the intended effect have to be a belief, for instance? Do you agree with Grice that (NN) is sufficient? Try to think of a case where (NN) is satisfied, but I don’t see myself as meaning that p. Or, explain why such a case cannot be found. Is some version of Grices theory likely to be true?

2.Grice offers an analysis of what is involved in someones conversationally implicating/hinting/suggesting that q in saying, or seeming to say, that p. Very roughly, the speaker conversationally implicates that q (in saying that p) if

1. she is presumed to be cooperative in the sense of following the conversational maxims
2. the supposition that she thinks that q is required to bring her saying that p, or making as if to say it, in line with the presumption that she is being cooperative
3. she takes it to be within the audiences capacity to work out that the supposition mentioned in 2. is required to make her performance appear cooperative
The task for this assignment is to outline Grice’s analysis more carefully, and to critically assess it. You have around three pages. The focus of your discussion should be on the criticism. If you can, take it one stage further: consider how Grice might respond to your initial criticism, and how you might counter his response.


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