Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (6):643--686 (2005)

Authors
Peter Nathan Lasersohn
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Abstract
This paper argues that truth values of sentences containing predicates of “personal taste” such as fun or tasty must be relativized to individuals. This relativization is of truth value only, and does not involve a relativization of semantic content: If you say roller coasters are fun, and I say they are not, I am negating the same content which you assert, and directly contradicting you. Nonetheless, both our utterances can be true (relative to their separate contexts). A formal semantic theory is presented which gives this result by introducing an individual index, analogous to the world and time indices commonly used, and by treating the pragmatic context as supplying a particular value for this index. The context supplies this value in the derivation of truth values from content, not in the derivation of content from character. Predicates of personal taste therefore display a kind of contextual variation in interpretation which is unlike the familiar variation exhibited by pronouns and other indexicals.
Keywords Linguistics   Philosophy of Language   Artificial Intelligence   Computational Linguistics   Semantics   Syntax
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DOI 10.1007/s10988-005-0596-x
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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.
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Truth and Objectivity.Crispin Wright - 1992 - Harvard University Press.
Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - Routledge.

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Citations of this work BETA

Disagreements About Taste.Timothy Sundell - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):267-288.
Against Arguments From Reference.Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):332 - 356.

View all 220 citations / Add more citations

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