Abstract

While it has frequently been suggested that meaning is “normative”, attempts to explain why we should believe this, or even what the claim amounts to, have proved surprisingly difficult, and the ‘normativity thesis’ has thus, justly, been called into question.  That said, it will be argued here that there is a good sense in which meaning should be understood as ‘normative’, and the normativity thesis can be explained in terms of an ‘epistemic’ metasemantic theory that allows that while meaning is grounded in use, there are a number of respects in which the function from use to meaning is a normative one.