Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Philosophy

First Advisor

Michael Weisberg

Abstract

This dissertation develops an ethics of meaning. In the first chapter, I offer an account of meaning that comprehends its many varieties—natural, cultural, linguistic, literary, and ethical meaning, for example—by appeal to the structural role meaning plays in the practice of interpretation. In Chapter 2, I develop a distinctive account of the concept of ethical meaning (“meaning” as it’s used in the phrase “the meaning of life”). In Chapter 3, I develop a new account of irony on the basis of the comprehensive-interpretive account of meaning introduced in Chapter 1.

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