Single Idea 15539

[catalogued under 19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / c. Principle of charity]

Full Idea

The cardinal principle of pragmatics is that the right way to take what is said, if at all possible, is the way that makes sense of the message.

Gist of Idea

Basic to pragmatics is taking a message in a way that makes sense of it


David Lewis (Many, but almost one [1993], 'A better solution')

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology' [CUP 1999], p.174

A Reaction

Thus when someone misuses a word, suggesting nonsense, we gloss over it, often without even mentioning it, because the underlying sense is obvious. A good argument for the existence of propositions. Lewis doesn't mention truth.