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Same-Saying, Pluri-Propositionalism, and Implicatures


  • A first draft of this article has been presented at the workshop New Trends in the Study of Implicatures (10-11 December 2009), the Formal Philosophy Project, Institute of Philosophy (The University of Leuven, Belgium). The penultimate version was presented at the EHESS, in Paris, France, and the University of Cartagena (Colombia). Many thanks to the audiences for comments and discussion. Comments by Kent Bach, Filip Beukens, Jérôme Dokic, Kepa Korta, Manuel Garcia-Carpintero, Mariá de Ponte, Stefano Predelli, Arthur Sullivan, and Richard Vallée have also been useful. Last, but not least, the suggestions by the editors and the detailed comments by a referee of this journal forced me to make some clarifications and helped me in avoiding some confusion. The research for this article has been partially sponsored by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant, SSHRC (Standard Research Grant, 410-2010-1334), the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (FFI2009-08574), and the Basque Government (IT323-10).

Address for Correspondence: ILCLI, UPV-EHU, Carlos Santamaria Zentroa 2, Elhuyar Plaza, 20018 Donostia San-Sebastian, Spain; Carleton University, Philosophy, Paterson Hall 3A, 1225 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa ON, K1S 5B6, Canada.



In combining a pluri-propositionalist framework (Bach-style) concerning alleged conventional implicatures, and a pluri-propositionalist framework (Perry-style) distinguishing various levels of content associated with a single utterance, I defend a Grice-inspired model of communication. In so doing, I rely on the distinction between what is said, i.e. what is semantically encoded, and what is pragmatically implicated. I show how the notion of same-saying plays a central role in dealing with problems pertaining to communication insofar as it permits us to posit a stability of content among interlocutors. I also show how people can be classified as same-sayers in different ways, viz. if they express the same (minimal) proposition/content or if they utter the same sentence. If A utters ‘I'm happy’ and B replies: ‘C said that too’, what B said can mean either that C said that A is happy—thus C and A expressed the same proposition—or that C utters the same words—they both utter ‘I'm happy’ and in so doing express different propositions, i.e. that A is happy and that C is happy respectively.