Aporia 19 (1):9-24 (2009)

Michael Alan Johnson
Georgia State University
The purpose of this paper is to assess the general viability of Donald Davidson's paratactic theory of indirect discourse, as well as the specific plausibility of a reincarnated form of the Davidsonian paratactic theory, Gary Kemp's propositional paratactic theory. To this end I will provide an introduction to the Davidsonian paratactic theory and the theory's putative strengths, thereafter noting that an argument from ambiguity seems to effectively undermine Davidson's proposal. Subsequently, I will argue that Kemp's modification of Davidson's theory – that is, Kemp's attempt to respond to the ambiguity objection – adequately handles the classic argument from ambiguity but fails in the face of a new problem of ambiguity that I will introduce. Finally, I will argue that there are more devastating and basic problems for the paratactic theory generally, and that even if Kemp's modifications had succeeded, they would not have given adequate plausibility to the paratactic proposal.
Keywords Formal Semantics  Semantic Phenomena  Attitude Ascriptions  Donald Davidson  Intensionality and Opacity  Logical Form  Truth-Conditional Theories  Speech Reports  Indirect Discourse  Extensional Semantics
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References found in this work BETA

Sense and Reference.Gottlob Frege - 1948 - Philosophical Review 57 (3):209-230.
On Saying That.Donald Davidson - 1968 - Synthese 19 (1-2):130-146.

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Indirect Reports as Language Games.Alessandro Capone - 2012 - Pragmatics and Cognition 20 (3):593-613.

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