demonstrative Reference: It’s Not What You Think

Florida Philosophical Review 5 (1):45-59 (2005)

In the spirit of David Kaplan’s “Afterthoughts,” Kent Bach has defended a version of an intention-based semantic theory for demonstratives. I argue that his version is not sufficient. I then make some further observations on the general motivations for intention-based semantic theories and argue that such motivations do not make intention-based semantic theories plausible. The intentions of speakers should be viewed as part of the metasemantics of the context, rather than part of the semantics for demonstratives. Rather, demonstratives should be treated like proper names for the correct placement of the intentions of speakers
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