Thick translation

  • The natural thought of bringing translating and theorizing about meaning should be resisted.
  • What we translate are utterances, which are products of actions, which are undertaken for reasons.
  • Grice suggested that we could say what an assertoric utterance meant by identifying the belief that it was conventionally intended to produce.
  • Gricean mechanism: the act that achieves its purpose because its purpose is recognized.
  • Conversational maxims: understandings to the effect that we are trying to be helpful, trying to be both maximally and relevantly informative.
  • Literal intentions: intentions associated with the speech-acts in which they can occur.
  • If what language you speak determines what thoughts or intentions you can have, translation will be impossible.
  • Difference between direct and indirect speech-acts: whether the main point of the utterances is accounted for by the literal intentions. If not, then it is indirect.
  • Mutual recognition cancel literal intentions.
  • Meaning in the broadest sense is what is communicated by the Gricean mechanism.
  • We may choose to translate a term in a way that is unfaithful to the literal intentions because we are trying yo preserve formal features that seem more crucial.