Indexical Color Predicates: Truth Conditional Semantics vs. Truth Conditional Pragmatics

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (2):71-100 (2012)
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Truth conditional semantics is the project of ‘determining a way of assigning truth conditions to sentences based on A) the extension of their constituents and B) their syntactic mode of combination’. This research program has been subject to objections that take the form of underdetermination arguments, an influential instance of which is presented by Travis: … consider the words ‘The leaf is green,’ speaking of a given leaf, and its condition at a given time, used so as to mean what they do mean in English. How many distinct things might be said in words with all that true of them? Many.… Suppose a Japanese maple leaf, turned brown, was painted green for a decoration. In sorting leaves by colour, one might truly call this one green. In describing leaves to help identify their species, it might, for all the paint, be false to call it that.



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Lenny Clapp
Northern Illinois University

Citations of this work

Are utterance truth-conditions systematically determined?Claudia Picazo - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (8):1020-1041.
Three Challenges for Indexicalism.Lenny Clapp - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (4):435-465.

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References found in this work

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.
Literal Meaning.François Récanati - 2002 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Scorekeeping in a language game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Minimal semantics.Emma Borg - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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