WHY I BELIEVE IN MONSTERS (AND YOU SHOULD TOO)
Keywords:contextualism, demonstrative, indexical, presupposition, proposition, common ground
According to Kaplan’s bidimensional theory of demonstratives, the descriptive content of any indexical term (and the sentences they appear in) is only employed to determine its reference in any possible world rigidly but cannot be expressed by the sentence’s truth conditions. Kaplan then argues that an indexical sentence’s informativeness depends on what he calls its character, a property of the context that relates a particular context to a concrete content, but it cannot be a part of the proposition the sentence entertains (its content), primarily given the logical inconsistencies the opposite would show in the theory of conditionals and counterfactuals. I agree with Kaplan that indexicals should not be considered disguised descriptions. Nevertheless, I believe that their content is informative and, therefore, part of the proposition these sentences express, even though that implies accepting the existence of content shifting operators within the same context --what Kaplan dubbed monsters.
This paper, therefore, presents an alternative account to indexical terms and sentences employing the Interactive Theory introduced in Colomina-Alminana (2022). This approach considers that the meaning of any sentence, the proposition it expresses, depends upon three interrelated factors: the speaker’s intentions when uttering, the audience’s potential uptakes of such statement, and the conventions established by the speech community both speaker and audience belong, or the linguistic interaction takes place. The critical element is the so-called speaker's point of view, an objective perspectival networking background that allows lexical and syntactic mechanisms to trigger and update potential conceptual presuppositional content shared by both speaker and audience and whose existence is prior to any context and circumstances.
- 2023-01-03 (3)
- 2022-12-29 (2)
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