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Minimal Expressivism

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first we outline a version of non-descriptivism, ‘minimal expressivism’, leaving aside certain long-standing problems associated with conventional expressivist views. Second, we examine the way in which familiar expressivist results can be accommodated within this framework, through a particular interpretation that the expressive realm lends to a theory of meaning. Expressivist theories of meaning address only a portion of the classical problems attributed to this position when they seek to explain why the expressions they deal with have a given meaning. A position can nevertheless be termed ‘expressivist’ – in the minimal sense that we favor – based simply on the following key features of the meaning of these expressions: they can be used as functions of propositions, and they are not used to describe the way the world is.

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