Synthese (4):1-36 (2019)

Authors
Ethan Nowak
Umeå University
Abstract
Standard semantic theories predict that non-deictic readings for complex demonstratives should be much more widely available than they in fact are. If such readings are the result of a lexical ambiguity, as Kaplan (1977) and others suggest, we should expect them to be available wherever a definite description can be used. The same prediction follows from ‘hidden argument’ theories like the ones described by King (2001) and Elbourne (2005). Wolter (2006), however, has shown that complex demonstratives admit non-deictic interpretations only when a precise set of structural constrains are met. In this paper, I argue that Wolter’s results, properly understood, upend the philosophical status quo. They fatally undermine the ambiguity theory and demand a fundamental rethinking of the hidden argument approach.
Keywords complex demonstratives  presupposition  context sensitivity  definite descriptions  reference  rigid designators  uniqueness  anti-uniqueness
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Reprint years 2021
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02250-5
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References found in this work BETA

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Linguistics in Philosophy.Zeno Vendler - 2019 - Cornell University Press.
Situations and Attitudes.Jon Barwise & John Perry - 1981 - Journal of Philosophy 78 (11):668-691.

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Citations of this work BETA

No Context, No Content, No Problem.Ethan Nowak - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (2):189-220.
Pronouns as Demonstratives.Kyle Blumberg - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (35).
Indirectly direct: An account of demonstratives and pointing.Dorothy Ahn - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-49.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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