Posted by: src1 | November 6, 2007

Bethan Davies on Grice’s Cooperative Principle

I have just been reading Bethan Davies’s article ‘Grice’s cooperative principle: meaning and rationality’ in the current issue of the the Journal of Pragmatics. Davies argues for the need to read Grice’s work on cooperation in the context of his philosophy as a whole. In particular, she suggests that such a reading might provide a check on what she aptly calls ‘cooperation drift’, by which Grice’s very specific and technical notion tends to merge in discussions by linguists into the more general notion of ‘cooperation’ as an admirable form of human behaviour.

I argue in my book Paul Grice, Philosopher and Linguist that Grice’s few well-known articles can fully be understood only in relation to his work as a whole, and it’s good to see this particular demonstration of that claim.

Here is a link to Davies’s article, although you’ll need a ScienceDirect login to access it in full.

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