Metalinguistic negotiation and speaker error

David Plunkett, Tim Sundell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


In recent work, we have argued that a number of disputes of interest to philosophers–including some disputes amongst philosophers themselves–are metalinguistic negotiations. Prima facie, many of these disputes seem to concern worldly, non-linguistic issues directly. However, on our view, they in fact concern, in the first instance, normative questions about the use of linguistic expressions. This will strike many ordinary speakers as counterintuitive. In many of the disputes that we analyze as metalinguistic negotiations, speakers might quite strongly resist the idea that their debate is in any sense about language. In this paper, we explore and provide responses to what we take to be the best versions of an objection that our view involves an unacceptable attribution of false beliefs to ordinary speakers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-167
Number of pages26
JournalInquiry (United Kingdom)
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Metalinguistic negotiation
  • conceptual engineering
  • conceptual ethics
  • disagreement
  • speaker error

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Metalinguistic negotiation and speaker error'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this