Kaplan on Demonstratives. Demonstratives, Indexicals, Pure Indexicals. The best way to start is to get clear on Kaplan’s terminology. Indexicals. Indexicals are words whose meaning depends on context. Kaplan distinguishes between pure indexicals (e.g. I, here, now) and true demonstratives (e.g. that. had written out the formal semantics for my Logic of Demonstratives. David Kaplan is writing at 10 A.M. on 3/26/77, or (ii) the ‘proposition’ that David. Kaplan .

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Demonstratives and Indexicals

A structured proposition which, like the preceding one, has an individual as a constituent, is a singular proposition. One traditional response to problems of cognitive significance for proper names is to adopt a descriptivist theory of proper names.

A semantics for demonstratives demonstratiges to which they are directly referential cannot account for this: A separate problem for utterance-based theories is that a semantic theory for a language should provide an interpretation of every sentence of the language.

For discussion, see Perry Here there is only one correct answer. For instance, the word I has a content in every context, depending on who the agent of the context is. The same problem arises for the argument 9 Today is Monday; therefore, today is Monday.

We saw above that it is valid. Thus, any philosopher or linguist who wants to defend an ambiguity theory of this sort has to argue that the ambiguity is well-motivated, and not simply a response to recalcitrant examples.

So there are three words in the sentence, but there are five occurrences of words. Perrythinks demonstraitves this sort of demonstrativves justifies classifying them as discretionary rather than automatic.

Indexical beliefs are, roughly speaking, beliefs that agents are disposed to express by uttering sentences that contain indexicals. In this framework, the intension of an expression is the function whose value for each possible world is the extension of the expression relative to that possible world.

For demonstratives and variables, see Heim and Kratzerchapter 9; for anaphora and variables, see Kamp and ReyleChierchiaand Salmon We begin by introducing one of these demonstrwtives. In early attempts to elaborate such theories, however, philosophers did not always pay due attention to the distinction above between utterances and the tokens produced or used in those utterances. But Perry also recognizes a distinct variety of content expressed by the utterance: One virtue of the Fregean Theory of Demonstrations is that it provides an account of why certain uses of demonstratives are informative, while others are not.


The content of an n -place predicate relative to a context is an n -place property or relation. On views of this latter sort, semantic values are functions from pairs of contexts and indices to truth-values. But this proposition is vacuously true at worlds where Yellow-Yellow does not exist, and if Kripke is correct that Yellow-Yellow is essentially a bear, then this proposition is also true at every world where Yellow-Yellow does exist.

If Al instead demonstrxtives to refer to Bill Demmonstrativesand points at Clinton, then his utterance of he refers to Clinton. So, Lewis would say that Mary de re believes of Bill that he is hungry.

But quantifier phrases are not singular terms; they do not refer, with respect to contexts, to individuals. One problem dsmonstratives gesture-based views generally is that there are uses of demonstratives that are not associated with any gestures at all. The question here may be taken in different ways: This is why Kaplan speaks of the agent of a context rather than the speaker of a context. She worked for Gigantic Academic Press. Demonstratives, Definite Descriptions and Non-Redundancy.

That is some demostratives to think that the content of that yellow house also includes the property of being yellow. Tense, Attitudes, and ScopeDordrecht: Oxford University Press, pp.

Attribution 20 seems to be true in this situation, whereas attribution 21 seems to be false. It is also important to distinguish an utterance from the particular concrete instance of a sentence, word, or phrase that is produced or used in the course of an utterance.

Indexicals (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

We shall concentrate here on the demonstratiives implications that the theory of indexical semantics has for the theory of indexical belief, and vice versa. Lewis also maintains that Kaplan fails to justify his claim that Kaplanian contents have a distinctive role to play in semantics.

According demonstrztives this picture, the meaning of a sentence S—in the sense of the information encoded by S—is a complex, structured entity whose constituents are the meanings of the sub-sentential expressions words and phrases that occur in S, and whose structure is determined by the structure of S. Some examples of demonstratives are that, this, you, he, she, there, then, this dog and that yellow house.


Suppose that John understands sentence 16 and assertively utters 16 while addressing Mary and intending to refer to her. Its content is some type of structured entity that has various properties and relations as constituents, such as the property of being a person, the relation of inventing, and so on. This result has two related interesting consequences: This proposition is true at an arbitrary world w if and only if c A has the property F-hood in w.

That would be a mistake: Kaaplan philosophers think that the contents of the yellow house and some yellow house include the property of being yellow.

David Kaplan, Demonstratives – PhilArchive

There are two difficulties with this extension. For further discussion and criticisms, see WettsteinTaschekand Crimminschapter 1. In the 20th century, there have been two basic approaches to the semantics of indexicals and demonstratives: If it is correct, then many arguments that at first glance appear to be valid are not valid.

This is because a directly referential expression contributes the object that it designates to the propositions expressed by sentences in which it occurs; the object is a constituent of the proposition.

Here are just two examples of the demonstratices of puzzles that arise when one begins to think about types versus tokens. Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia.

Again, if we focus just on the possible world parameter of a context, demonsrtatives means that the world c W of the context c is playing two roles in the definition of truth relative to a context c: Fara, Delia Graff, First, some wish to describe their meanings and fit them into a general semantic theory.