Maximilian de Gaynesford has argued against the standard view that the reference of the first-person pronoun ‘I’ is determined by a rule linking the referent to some feature of the context of use. In this paper, we argue that de Gaynesford's arguments are inconclusive. Our main aim, however, is to formulate a novel version of the reference rule for ‘I’. We argue that this version can deal with several problematic cases. Our strategy involves analysing the so-called agent of the context (...) as the person responsible for a particular speech act. From this analysis, we exclude a particular class of uses of ‘I’, uses that we believe are best understood as demonstrative. (shrink)
According to intentionalism, the semantic reference of the uses of demonstratives is fixed, at least partly, by the speaker’s referential intention. In this paper, I argue against the possibility of the existence of a semantic convention of this sort. My argument is placed in the Lewisian framework of signaling games and consists of several steps that correspond to four anti-intentionalist arguments, already present in the literature, that have proven inconclusive when employed separately and without being set in the mentioned framework.
The debate over the semantics of demonstratives is in a stalemate between those positions attributing some referential significance to a speaker's referential intentions and those not doing so. The latter approach is supported by cases driving the non-intentional intuition in which the speakers mistakenly point at objects other than the ones they intend to refer to. The intentionalists, such as Martin Montminy, reply that once we think of potential extensions of such cases in which the speaker explains to the hearer (...) what her referential intention was, it is the intentionalist intuition that prevails. In this paper, I develop a semantics for demonstratives whose task is to accommodate both of these seemingly contradictory intuitions within the general non-intentionalist framework. The proposed idea is that the reference of a use of a demonstrative can change over time, as the discourse develops. This idea is handled formally by the addition of a parameter of the index of evaluation that represents the referentially relevant aspects of the state of the discourse. Also, I provide reasons for preferring my view over two rival positions: one by Palle Leth, and one that I adjust to the demands of the semantics of demonstratives from the theory that Kai von Fintel and Anthony Gillies offer for epistemic modals, and from Laura Delgado's polyreferentialism for proper names. (shrink)
The traditional conception of lying, according to which to lie is to make an assertion with an intention to deceive the hearer, has recently been put under pressure by the phenomenon of bald-faced lies i.e. utterances that _prima facie_ look like lies but because of their blatancy allegedly lack the accompanying intention to deceive. In this paper we propose an intuitive way of reconciling the phenomenon of bald-faced lies with the traditional conception by suggesting that the existing analyses of the (...) phenomenon overlook a non-obvious category of hearers whom the speakers of bald-faced lies intend to deceive. Those hearers are institutions represented by the people involved, such as courts or secret police. We also criticize two recent rival accounts (Jessica Keiser’s and Daniel Harris’s) that attempt to save the traditional conception by saying that some bald-faced lies are not assertions, because they are conventional—rather than illocutionary—speech acts. (shrink)
In this paper, I do four things. First, I argue that Recanati’s recent argument for intentionalist semantics for demonstratives is erroneous. I do this partly by suggesting that demonstrations should be treated as features of Kaplanian context. Second, I explain why the classic ambiguity objection against conventionalist positions regarding demonstratives is not in any way less problematic for intentionalism. Third, I propose a novel semantic framework for demonstratives that is able to simultaneously explain the appeal of some prominent conventionalist and (...) intentionalist intuitions. Finally, I present some additional advantages of my view, e.g. the prospects of unifying the semantics for bare demonstratives with that for other related types of expression. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a heated debate on how to accommodate John Perry's observations about the essentiality of indexicality into our models of linguistic communication. This article is an attempt at providing a new perspective on this issue. I argue that we should jettison two elements taken for granted by the views I present, and criticize, here: no centring, uncentring, recentring and multicentring. These elements are: (1) taking the asserted content to be a part of the communication process (...) and (2) assumptions that the indexical belief of the speaker, when successfully communicated, must be acquired by the hearer as indexical, too. The theory of indexical communication that I propose here is laid out in the mental files framework and devoid of the two aforementioned elements. (shrink)
The paper is a review of the book 'Rationality and Decision Making: From Normative Rules to Heuristics' edited by Marek Hetmański. The volume consists of eighteen chapters on different topics revolving around the common theme of rationality. The review discusses each paper, focusing more closely on some, in order to evaluate the arguments and claims that I find interesting, controversial, or surprising. Most chapters fall into the category of standard analytic philosophy with just a few lightly flirting with other philosophical (...) traditions and one discussing José Ortega y Gasset. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to amend the Stalnakerian view of context in such a way that it can allow for an adequate treatment of a contextualist position regarding the Liar Paradox. I discuss Glanzberg’s contextualism and the reason why his position cannot be encompassed by the Stalnakerian view, as it is normally construed. Finally, I introduce the phenomenon I call “semantic dissonance”, followed by a mechanism accommodating the Stalnakerian view to the demands of Glanzberg’s contextualism.