Thanks for fertile discussion to audiences at the Conference on Meaning and Communication at the Instituto de Filosofia da Linguagem in Lisbon, the 2006 Pacific APA, the University of Rochester, the University of Western Ontario, the Workshop on Metarepresentation and Non-literal Language Use at the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature in Oslo, and the Summer Course on Meaning, Context, Intention at the CEU University in Budapest. Special thanks to Kent Bach, David Braun, Herman Cappelen, Adam Croom, Michael Glanzberg, John Hawthorne, Larry Horn, Michael Israel, Ernie Lepore, Peter Ludlow, Paul Pietroski, Adam Sennet, David Shier, Dan Sperber, Robert Stainton, Jason Stanley, and Dmitri Tymoczko, and to an anonymous reviewer for Noûs.
Sarcasm, Pretense, and The Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction*
Version of Record online: 15 SEP 2011
© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 46, Issue 4, pages 587–634, December 2012
How to Cite
Camp, E. (2012), Sarcasm, Pretense, and The Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction. Noûs, 46: 587–634. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00822.x
- Issue online: 4 NOV 2012
- Version of Record online: 15 SEP 2011
Traditional theories of sarcasm treat it as a case of a speaker's meaning the opposite of what she says. Recently, ‘expressivists’ have argued that sarcasm is not a type of speaker meaning at all, but merely the expression of a dissociative attitude toward an evoked thought or perspective. I argue that we should analyze sarcasm in terms of meaning inversion, as the traditional theory does; but that we need to construe ‘meaning’ more broadly, to include illocutionary force and evaluative attitudes as well as propositional content. I distinguish four subclasses of sarcasm, individuated in terms of the target of inversion. Three of these classes raise serious challenges for a standard implicature analysis.