Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

We give a short recap of how the notion of context has been developed in the philosophy of language since its introduction by Frege. We introduce various aspects of the concept of context: context of utterance, context at the semantics-pragmatics boundary, and social and cognitive context. We thereby offer to readers not accustomed to the distinctions used in the philosophy of language a framework to better understand the papers enclosed in this issue (and of which we provide summaries at the end of this introduction).

As Domaneschi and Penco (2013) say, context is said “in many ways”, like being for Aristotle. The topic of context in philosophy, as it is discussed today, was born with Frege’s principle of contextuality, extensively discussed by Michael Dummett (1973, 1981), and developed with the seminal works by David Kaplan (1972, 1989a, b) and Robert Stalnaker (2002, 2014), who used different meanings and formalisations of the notion of context. The series of conferences on Modelling and Using Context, started by Patrick Brezillon in 1997, showed the many sides of the notion of context, which affects philosophy as much as artificial intelligence, psychology, or sociology. Certainly, the term “context” has had a great development in…


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