Evaluative and Metalinguistic Dispute

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Recently, the hypothesis that purely evaluative disputes are metalinguistic negotiations has gained traction. I resist a strong version of that hypothesis, and argue that some of those disputes are not metalinguistic negotiations. To defend that claim, I argue that metalinguistic negotiations have three linguistic properties that some purely evaluative disputes lack. First, in a metalinguistic negotiation it is felicitous to embed the dispute-initial statement under the subjective attitude verb consider; second, a speaker can reply to that initial statement by using a metalinguistic comparative; and, third, such negotiations address metalinguistic questions under discussion. Some purely evaluative disputes lack these properties, which suggests that they are not metalinguistic negotiations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


  • Evaluative adjectives
  • Metalinguistic negotiation
  • Predicates of personal taste
  • Semantic variantism


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