The Open UniversitySkip to content

Dialogue structure and logical expressivism

Piwek, Paul (2011). Dialogue structure and logical expressivism. Synthese, 183(Suppl. 1) pp. 33–58.

Full text available as:
Full text not publicly available (Accepted Manuscript)
Due to publisher licensing restrictions, this file is not available for public download
Click here to request a copy from the OU Author.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This paper aims to develop the implications of logical expressivism for a theory of dialogue coherence. I proceed in three steps. Firstly, certain structural properties of cooperative dialogue are identified. Secondly, I describe a variant of the multi-agent natural deduction calculus that I introduced in Piwek (J Logic Lang Inf 16(4):403–421, 2007) and demonstrate how it accounts for the aforementioned structures. Thirdly, I examine how the aforementioned system can be used to formalise an expressivist account of logical vocabulary that is inspired by Brandom (Making it explicit: reasoning, representing, and discursive commitment, 1994; Articulating reasons: an introduction to inferentialism, 2000). This account conceives of the logical vocabulary as a tool which allows speakers to describe the inferential practices which underlie their language use, i.e., it allows them to make those practices explicit. The rewards of this exercise are twofold: (1) We obtain a more precise account of logical expressivism which can be defended more effectively against the critique that such accounts lead to cultural relativism. (2) The formalised distinction between engaging in a practice and expressing it, opens the way for a revision of the theory of dialogue coherence. This revision eliminates the need for logically complex formulae to account for certain structural properties of cooperative dialogue.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
ISSN: 1573-0964
Extra Information: Special issue: Theories of Information Dynamics and Interaction and their Application to Dialogue; guest editors, Emiliano Lorini and Laure Vieu.

The paper has two numberings for the pages. Firstly, the numbering of the Synthese journal and, secondly, the numbering for the Knowledge, Rationality and Action, a special section of Synthese. The information printed on the paper says:
Synthese (2011) 183:33–58
Knowledge, Rationality & Action 253–278
Keywords: dialogue coherence; logical expressivism; natural deduction; logical vocabulary; inferential practices
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Computing and Communications
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Item ID: 30013
Depositing User: Paul Piwek
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 15:21
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 11:19
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU