More on Operators and Tense [Book Review]

Analysis 71 (1):112 - 123 (2011)
Abstract
Cappelen and Hawthorne’s Relativism and Monadic Truth (2009) offers an extended defense of a thesis they call simplicity, which, in brief, holds that propositions are true or false simpliciter. Propositions are cast in their traditional roles as the contents of assertions, and as the semantic values of declarative sentences in contexts. Simplicity stands in sharp contrast to forms of relativism including, for instance, a form that hold that our claims are true or false only relative to a judge. This applies especially to claims of taste, which come out true or false only relative to the judge who finds things tasty (e.g. Glanzberg 2007, Lasersohn 2005). But simplicity also rejects the more widespread temporalist view that propositions are true or false only relative to a time, and it rejects the even more widely held view that propositions are true or false only relative to a world. One reason that has been advanced for temporalism, e.g. by Kaplan (1989), is that our languages seem to contain non-trivial temporal operators. Hence, the argument goes, the semantic values of sentences need to be temporally neutral, i.e. vary for truth or falsehood with time. The same goes for possible worlds and modal operators. Hence, Kaplan and many others think of the semantic values of sentences as sets of world-time pairs. It has been tempting to apply this sort of argument much more widely, to see the semantic values of sentences as varying not just with world and time, but perhaps with location and other parameters as well. Kaplan..
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