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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If Mary utters the sentence assertively, then she probably asserts the content of that sentence in her context. Insensitive SemanticsOxford: Agents cannot directly ascribe properties to individuals other than themselves, for all ascription of properties is self-ascription. Perry and Kaplan also hold that a rational agent can believe a proposition under one character and also believe the negation of that proposition under a suitably different character.

Moreover, if John is sincere, then he believes the proposition that 16 expresses in his context. Finally, these same pronouns are also sometimes used as unbound anaphors. Indexicals also known as context-sensitive expressions lead many philosophers to distinguish between two different sorts of meaning.

Elements ii and iiia of the indexical meaning of a token are supplied by the symbolic meaning of the type of which the token is an instance. But surely he does not believe a contradictory proposition.

Indexicals (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Exactly how radical the objection is depends in part on how widespread the phenomenon of indexicality is in natural language. The Content of a formula, with respect to a structure and context, is a function whose value at any time-world pair is the truth-value of the formula with respect to the preceding structure, context, time, and world. Georgi defends a view of complex demonstratives according to which they are ambiguous between referential and non-referential readings.

First, we can like Kaplan allow the semantic value of a sentence to vary from context to context, and design these varying semantic values so that they determine truth-values with respect to indices. In both cases, epistemic possibility is involved. In this early work Kaplan says that an utterance of a demonstrative is typically accompanied by a demonstra tionwhich is a public presentation of an object that is typically, though not always, a pointing gesture.


We shall first consider how his theory works with pure indexicals, and then consider how to extend it to simple demonstratives. Or the event of the replay of the message itself?

As a result, we cannot talk about the meaning of a token-quote phrase, because there is no meaning that any two tokens of the phrase share. See the entries on Gottlob Frege and propositional attitude reports. That is some reason to think that complex demonstratives are singular terms.

If it is correct, then many arguments that at first glance appear to be valid are not valid. Then he may sincerely say I am wearing a clean shirt and he is not wearing a clean shirtas he points at the demonsrtatives reflected in the mirror. Third, some think that reflection on indexicals may give them some insight into the nature of belief, self-knowledge, first-person perspective, consciousness, deminstratives other important philosophical matters.

Their references, or extensions, with respect to contexts, are usually taken to be sets of sets. Indexicals are words or phrases. demonstrqtives

A clear example of this is a diagram of a machine, which represents visually both the shapes of the parts and the structure of the machine. The issues raised by written notes and recorded messages are currently a topic of much debate in the philosophy of language.

Richard endorses a maximal theory. A speaker who uses a demonstrative may have several intentions: This shows that directly referential terms are rigid designators in a particularly strong sense.

Despite the importance of distinguishing between occurrences and tokens, there are systematic relations between them. For instance, the character of I is demlnstratives function on contexts whose value at any context C is the agent of C.

Thus direct reference theories, together with the earlier assumptions about the connection of semantics with belief, imply that agents with indexical beliefs believe singular propositions. In addition, some philosophers would prefer to speak entirely about shifts in extension, kapllan than shifts in reference, from context to context. Here are just two examples of the kinds of puzzles that arise when one begins to think about types versus tokens.


Each context demonstrafives associated with it at least an agent, time, location, and possible world. The Semantics and Pragmatics of Complex Demonstratives. Suppose that Russell utters 2 a second time. Second, do the contents of those common noun phrases contribute to the contents of complex demonstratives, in contexts? David Lewis a and Roderick Chisholm independently developed theories of indexical belief according to which the things that agents believe are properties rather than propositions.

For discussion of this test and others, see Cappelen and LeporeCappelen and HawthorneLeslie Perhaps for this reason, Perry modifies the ways-of-believing theory by distinguishing between i the proposition that an agent believes and ii the belief state in virtue of which the agent believes that proposition.

The arguments for and against singular-term theories demonstrativex quantifier phrase theories are again complicated. Similarly, one can suppose that every context has a sequence of addressees and that the content of you 1 is the first addressee, the content of you 2 is the second addressee, and so on.

In the other role, it represents the actual or counterfactual circumstance relative to which we evaluate the proposition expressed.

Demonstratives and Indexicals

Below is a list of types of expressions for which contextualist theories have been proposed, along with some discussion. Iaplan is in a grocery store, pushing a shopping cart.

We can extract a simpler argument against direct reference theories from the messy shopper example by adding one more element to it. This claim is problematic. In the right circumstances, a speaker could use 26 to assert a true proposition.

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