Alessio Sardo

The force of imperatives

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Imperatives; Norms; Pragmatics; Alf Ross; Illocutionary Force.

In this paper the Author analyzes one of the basic problems of imperative speech: the relation between the meaning of an imperative and its illocutionary force. The first part of the paper is devoted to the main solutions offered in legal philosophy: the theory of Alf Ross, the Expressive Conception, and Giovanni Tarello's attempt to demonstrate that illocutionary force determines the interpretation of semantic contents. The second part tackles some of the main solutions developed by philosophers of language: a special attention is granted to the classical approach defended in Speech Acts Theory, to the arguments developed by Baker and Hacker against this approach, and to recent solutions based on dynamic semantics and modal logic.

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