Authors
Derek Ball
University of St. Andrews
Brian Rabern
University of Edinburgh
Abstract
Kaplan (1989) famously claimed that monsters--operators that shift the context--do not exist in English and "could not be added to it". Several recent theorists have pointed out a range of data that seem to refute Kaplan's claim, but others (most explicitly Stalnaker 2014) have offered a principled argument that monsters are impossible. This paper interprets and resolves the dispute. Contra appearances, this is no dry, technical matter: it cuts to the heart of a deep disagreement about the fundamental structure of a semantic theory. We argue that: (i) the interesting notion of a monster is not an operator that shifts some formal parameter, but rather an operator that shifts parameters that play a certain theoretical role; (ii) one cannot determine whether a given semantic theory allows monsters simply by looking at the formal semantics; (iii) theories which forbid shifting the formal "context" parameter are perfectly compatible with the existence of monsters (in the interesting sense). We explain and defend these claims by contrasting two kinds of semantic theory--Kaplan's (1989) and Lewis's (1980).
Keywords content  context  monsters  semantic value  Kaplan  indexicals  propositions
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.1111/phpr.12449
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Upload history
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Attitudes de Dicto and de Se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
Context.Robert Stalnaker - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
General Semantics.David K. Lewis - 1970 - Synthese 22 (1-2):18--67.

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Semantic Monsters.Brian Rabern - forthcoming - In Heimir Geirsson & Stephen Biggs (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Reference.
Context-Free Semantics.Paolo Santorio - 2019 - In Ernie LePore & David Sosa (eds.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Language, Volume 1. Oxford University Press. pp. 208-239.
Reviving the Parameter Revolution in Semantics.Bryan Pickel, Brian Rabern & Josh Dever - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 138-171.
Formal Semantics and Applied Mathematics: An Inferential Account.Ryan M. Nefdt - 2020 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 29 (2):221-253.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Where Monsters Dwell.David Israel & John Perry - 1996 - In Jerry Seligman & Dag Westerståhl (eds.), Logic, Language and Computation. Csli Publications, Stanford. pp. 1--303.
A Plea for Monsters.Philippe Schlenker - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (1):29-120.
The Semantics of Contextual Shifting and Sensitivity.Brian Rabern - 2012 - Dissertation, The Australian National University
Monsters in Kaplan’s Logic of Demonstratives.Brian Rabern - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):393-404.
A Plea Against Monsters.Emar Maier - 2016 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 93 (3):363-395.
Modal Monsters and Talk About Fiction.Stefano Predelli - 2008 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 37 (3):277-297.
Context Dependence.Thomas Ede Zimmermann - 2012 - In C. Maienborn, K. von Heusinger & P. Portner (eds.), Handbook of Semantics. Volume 3. de Gruyter.
Kaplan's Three Monsters.Stefano Predelli - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):389-393.
Binding Into Character.Joshua Dever - 2004 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (Supplement):29-80.
There’s No Place Like ‘Here’ and No Time Like ‘Now’.Albert Atkin - 2006 - American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (3):271-80.
On the Meaning of Indexicals.Marian PrzeŁęcki - 1983 - Studia Logica 42 (2-3):285 - 291.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-04-07

Total views
368 ( #18,003 of 2,333,391 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
55 ( #10,117 of 2,333,391 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes