Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2933-2959 (2019)

Authors
Peter Fritz
Australian Catholic University
John Hawthorne
Australian Catholic University
Juhani Yli-Vakkuri
Australian Catholic University
Abstract
Certain passages in Kaplan’s ‘Demonstratives’ are often taken to show that non-vacuous sentential operators associated with a certain parameter of sentential truth require a corresponding relativism concerning assertoric contents: namely, their truth values also must vary with that parameter. Thus, for example, the non-vacuity of a temporal sentential operator ‘always’ would require some of its operands to have contents that have different truth values at different times. While making no claims about Kaplan’s intentions, we provide several reconstructions of how such an argument might go, focusing on the case of time and temporal operators as an illustration. What we regard as the most plausible reconstruction of the argument establishes a conclusion similar enough to that attributed to Kaplan. However, the argument overgenerates, leading to absurd consequences. We conclude that we must distinguish assertoric contents from compositional semantic values, and argue that once they are distinguished, the argument fails to establish any substantial conclusions. We also briefly discuss a related argument commonly attributed to Lewis, and a recent variant due to Weber.
Keywords Relativism  Eternalism  Operator arguments  Intensional logic  Modal logic  David Kaplan  David Lewis
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-018-1158-8
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References found in this work BETA

Index, Context, and Content.David K. Lewis - 1980 - In Stig Kanger & Sven Öhman (eds.), Philosophy and Grammar. Reidel. pp. 79-100.
Nonindexical Contextualism.John MacFarlane - 2009 - Synthese 166 (2):231-250.
Diamonds Are Forever.Cian Dorr & Jeremy Goodman - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):632-665.
Frege's Puzzle. [REVIEW]Graeme Forbes - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (3):455.

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Citations of this work BETA

Relativism.Maria Baghramian & Adam J. Carter - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Propositions and Compositionality.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):526-563.
The Myth of Occurrence-Based Semantics.Bryan Pickel & Brian Rabern - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-25.
Relativism.Chris Swoyer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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