Pronouns and complex demonstratives


Until recently it was standard to think that all demonstratives are directly referential. This assumption has played important roles in work on perception, reference, mental content, and the nature of propositions. But Jeff King claims that demonstratives with a nominal complement (like ‘that dog’) are quantifiers, largely because there are cases in which the semantic value of such a “complex demonstrative” is not simply an object (2001). Although I agree with King that such cases preclude a directly referential, Kaplanian semantics for complex demonstratives, I will argue that without contentious further assumptions they do not vindicate King’s claim that they are quantifiers. This is because familiar pronouns act like King’s examples of complex demonstratives. Indeed, pronouns and complex demonstratives share behavior that even King overlooks. None of this pronoun behavior shows that pronouns are quantifiers, and similarly none of the analogous demonstrative behavior shows that complex demonstratives are quantifiers.



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Eric Swanson
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Citations of this work

Interactions with Context.Eric Swanson - 2006 - Dissertation, MIT
Epistemic Modality De Re.Seth Yalcin - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2:475-527.

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