Reference and Monstrosity

Philosophical Review 121 (3):359-406 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

According to the orthodox account developed by Kaplan, indexicals like I, you, and now invariably refer to elements of the context of speech. This essay argues that the orthodoxy is wrong. I, you, and the like are shifted by certain modal operators and hence can fail to refer to elements of the context, for example, I can fail to refer to the speaker. More precisely, indexicals are syntactically akin to logical variables. They can be free, in which case they work, roughly, on the Kaplan model. But they can also be bound: this happens, in a systematic fashion, when they are in the scope of epistemic modals or attitude verbs. The new view has two interesting philosophical consequences. First, it vindicates a broadly Fregean perspective on referential expressions, essentially refuting the idea that indexicals are rigid designators. Second, it suggests a new picture of the interaction between context and linguistic meaning: compositional semantics does not need to look at the context and hence has no need for a context parameter.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,346

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The impurity of “pure” indexicals.Allyson Mount - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (2):193 - 209.
A plea for monsters.Philippe Schlenker - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (1):29-120.
Reference and Indexicality.Erich Rast - 2006 - Dissertation, Roskilde University
Context and Content: Pragmatics in Two-Dimensional Semantics.Berit Brogaard - 2012 - In Keith Allan & Kasia Jaszczolt (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press.
Indexicals, Contexts and Unarticulated Constituents.John Perry - 1998 - In Atocha Aliseda-Llera, Rob J. Van Glabbeek & Dag Westerståhl (eds.), Proceedings of the 1995 CSLI-Armsterdam Logic, Language and Computation Conference. CSLI Publications.
Putting things in contexts.Ben Caplan - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (2):191-214.
Where monsters dwell.David Israel & John Perry - 1996 - In Jerry Seligman & Dag Westerståhl (eds.), Logic, Language and Computation. Csli Publications, Stanford. pp. 1--303.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-07-26

Downloads
125 (#101,765)

6 months
5 (#154,483)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Paolo Santorio
University of Maryland, College Park

Citations of this work

Monsters and the theoretical role of context.Brian Rabern & Derek Ball - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (2):392-416.
Binding bound variables in epistemic contexts.Brian Rabern - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (5-6):533-563.
Quantification and Epistemic Modality.Dilip Ninan - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (4):433-485.

View all 28 citations / Add more citations