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Idiolectal error

Barber, Alex (2001). Idiolectal error. Mind and Language, 16(3) pp. 263–283.

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A linguistic theory is correct exactly to the extent that it is the explicit statement of a body of knowledge possessed by a designated language-user. This popular psychological conception of the goal of linguistic theorizing is commonly paired with a preference for idiolectal over social languages, where it seems to be in the nature of idiolects that the beliefs one holds about one's own are ipso facto correct. Unfortunately, it is also plausible that the correctness of a genuine belief cannot consist merely in that belief's being held. This paper considers how best to eliminate this tension.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 0268-1064
Extra Information: The definitive version is available at
Keywords: idiolects; philosophy of language; philosophy of linguistics; epistemology of language; objectivity of knowledge
Academic Unit/Department: Arts > Philosophy
Item ID: 5918
Depositing User: Alexander Barber
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2011 15:21
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