On the Connection between Semantic Content and the Objects of Assertion

Philosophical Topics 45 (2):163-179 (2017)
Authors
Una Stojnic
Columbia University
Abstract
The Rigidity Thesis states that no rigid term can have the same semantic content as a nonrigid one. Drawing on Dummett, Evans, and Lewis, Stanley rejects the thesis since it relies on an illicit identification of compositional semantic content and the content of assertion. I argue that Stanley’s critique of the Rigidity Thesis fails since it places constraints on assertoric content that cannot be satisfied by any plausible notion of content appropriately related to compositional semantic content. For similar reasons, I also challenge a recent two-dimensionalist defense of Stanley by Ninan. The moral is far-reaching: any theory that invokes a distinction between semantic and assertoric contents is unsatisfactory unless it can plausibly explain the connection between them.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  General Interest  Philosophy of Mind  semantic content, assertoric content, compositionality
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ISBN(s) 0276-2080  
DOI 10.5840/philtopics201745218
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Monsters and the Theoretical Role of Context.Brian Rabern & Derek Ball - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
On a Case for Truth‐Relativism.Jason Stanley - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (1):179-188.

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