Tutorial Contents Tutorial Two: Propositional Calculus: Language - Truth Functors - The Propositional
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"Although she was poor, she was honest" implies, as we have seen, that there is a contrast between poverty and honesty. But the implication involved is different from logical implication. When a sentence logically implies something which is false, it must be false itself. But, as we have seen, the lack of a contrast between poverty and honesty does not mean that "Although she was poor, she was honest" is false. H.P. Grice suggested using the word "implicate" to mean the same as "imply" in this non-logical sense, and the word "implicature" to mean this sort of implication. (H.P. Grice, "Logic and conversation" in his Studies in the Way of Words; also in ed. Frank Jackson, Conditionals.)

This particular sort of implicature he calls "conventional implicature", because the implication is a feature of the meaning of a word or phrase: in this case, "although".

Another sort of implicature is conversational implicature.

For example, to say in an end of term Philosophy report, "His spelling is excellent," and no more, implies (implicates) that his Philosophy was not much good. The implication in this case is a consequence not of the meaning of a word or phrase, but of saying just that, in that context.

Notice that in some cases the implication cancellable - i.e. one can intelligibly add, "Not that I mean to imply..." This is apt not to be the case where we have conventional implicature. After saying, "Although she was poor, she was honest", it is no good my adding, "Not that I mean to imply that there is any contrast". By using the word "although", I have implied it. On the other hand conversational implicature is apt to be cancellable. After saying, "His spelling is excellent", I could easily add, "Not that I mean to imply that his Philosophy is poor."

In some cases the implication detachable - i.e. a form of words can be found to say the same thing without the implication.  This is apt not to be possible in case of conversational implicature. (Any way of saying that his spelling is good, and no more, in the same context will carry the same implication. On the other hand I can avoid the implication carried by "although" by using "and" instead.)


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