David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Manuscrito 32 (1):123-152 (2009)
The goal of this paper is to propose an account of the notion of semantic content. I will try to show that my account has some advantages over the existing accounts, and that, at the same time, it captures the most valuable insights behind both parties involved in the contextualism-minimalism debate. The proposed account of semantic content differs from the more traditional ones in that it puts more burden on the parameters of the point of evaluation, leaving very little in the content itself. In particular, even in the case of indexical and demonstrative pronouns, the semantic content is, I suggest, stable across contexts, and does not include the reference of the pronoun. In a nutshell, the semantic content associated with (an utterance of) a sentence that contains one or more pronouns is a function that asks not only for a world and a time of evaluation, but also one or more individuals, before it can return a truth value.
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