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Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


P hilosophy of social science, philosophy of language [from Latin conveniens , suitable, proper; related to Greek nomos , laws, social customs, in contrast to physis , nature] Conventions are acceptable regularities or patterns in a community or population group, with examples including such things as moral rules, laws, and traffic rules. Conventions arise either unconsciously or from specific agreement. They are inherited, imitated, and taught explicitly within a community. Philosophy of language holds that many words gain their meaning by convention, rather than being determined by the nature of the objects they refer to. What it is for a sentence S to mean X is explained in terms of the existence of a convention in a population of speakers that S should be used to mean X. There is a convention relation between sentences in general and the propositions they express. According to logical positivism , a language framework is also determined by convention. There are various discussions about the precise mechanism that gives rise to a convention and the way it is maintained. “Conventions are to be explained in terms of the patterns of beliefs and intentions of the members of the population.” Stalnaker, Inquiry ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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