University of Delhi Department of Philosophy. University of Connecticut Department of Philosophy. New Delhi, Delhi, India. Areas of Specialization Philosophy of Language. All publications 3.
Demonstratives and Indexicals
This paper argues for a different logical form for complex demonstratives, given that the quantificational account is correct. In itself that is controversial, but two aspects will be assumed. Firstly, there are arguments to believe that complex demonstratives have quantificational uses. Specifically, there are syntactic arguments. Secondly, a uniform semantics is preferable to a semantics of ambiguity.
Given this, the proposed logical forms for complex demonstratives that are prevalent do not r… Read more This paper argues for a different logical form for complex demonstratives, given that the quantificational account is correct. Given this, the proposed logical forms for complex demonstratives that are prevalent do not respect a fundamental property of quantifiers: permutation invariance.
The reason for this is the attempt to retain, in the logical forms proposed, the strong intuitions of reference that uses of complex demonstratives display.
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- Jeffrey C. King, Complex Demonstratives, a Quantificational Account - PhilPapers!
In his book, Jeffrey King revolts against such theories and suggests that complex demonstratives of the form "that N'" are in fact context-sensitive quantifiers rather than referential expressions. In order to challenge the orthodox view, the author gives a number of examples where complex demonstratives do not refer to a particular individual the speaker has in mind.
These cases are further classified into "no demonstration no speaker reference" NDNS uses like 1 , "quantification in" QI uses like 2 , and "narrow scope" NS uses like 3 : 1 That hominid who discovered how to start fires was a genius. In all ten professors will be honored. At the same time, King claims, we can easily account for such utterances as if we assume that complex demonstratives are quantifiers.
Review: Complex Demonstratives: A Quantificational Account | Mind | Oxford Academic
The latter idea is further supported by accepted syntactic tests for the quantifier raising which all corroborate that complex demonstratives do undergo this sort of movement. Chapter 2 "Three Quantificational Accounts of 'That' Phrases" is concerned with possible developments of the ideas presented before. King supposes that these two sorts of intentions are different in that how they affect the semantics of 'that' phrases. On the one hand, although both sorts MUST provide some restrictive property for the denotation of a complex demonstrative, when a speaker has perceptual intention this property is unequivocally 'being identical to the object of intention' while when the intention under discussion is descriptive the restricting property is determined by the broad context and by default coincide with the descriptive content of a 'that' phrase.
This results in that complex demonstratives are rigid if and only if they are used with perceptual intention. On the other hand, the "unique joint instantiation" of the properties determined by the content of a complex demonstrative and by a speaker's intention depends on the context of utterance in the case of perceptual intention but not in the case of descriptive intention.
In Chapter 3 "Modality, Negation, and Verbs of Propositional Attitude" the author discusses scope interactions between complex demonstratives and various operators.
The general aim of this chapter is to show that 'that' phrases can have narrow scope readings - contra to what is predicted by direct reference theories. King argues that although there are sentences where it is hard to get the narrow scope reading especially, in the case of perceptual intentions , usually it is possible to find a context where this reading becomes available. Chapter 4 "This and That: A Variety of Loose Ends" is intended to discuss issues of King's theory which are not raised in previous chapters.
Two of these issues seems to be most important here and in fact, cover a large part of the chapter. First, the author discusses similarities and differences between demonstratives and other determiners. King shows that while having universal properties of determiners such as conservativeness in at least one of the possible interpretations of this property , demonstratives are closer to nonlogical determiners containing lexical items such as "every Further, when the phenomenon of quantifier domain restriction is discussed, it turns out that the domain of demonstratives is restricted in the way other than that of other determiners, and this generally supports King's view that context-dependence or to be more precise, intention- dependence is embedded in the semantics of demonstratives and not in the pragmatics of their use.
The second important issue which on King's confession requires a separate monograph concerns the interpretation of simple 'that' as in "Its pool is behind that".
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The author supposes that the simple 'that' can be analyzed in the same way as complex demonstratives are. That is, simple 'that' construction may contain an empty N' constituent which still refer to the properties determined by a speaker's intentions. In Chapter 5 "Against Ambiguity Approaches" King defends a uniform analysis of complex demonstratives vs. Thus, rigid and non-rigid 'that' phrases are opposed to definite phrases in the same respects, and both types of complex demonstratives seem to undergo quantifier raising - hence, an approach that treats rigid and non-rigid 'that' phrases uniformly such as King's approach is preferable.
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Finally, the appendix contains a formal semantic representation of King's theory. First, it is surprising that nothing is said about semantic differences between various demonstratives the discussion is mainly devoted to the differences in use of demonstratives.
Perhaps, the difference between 'this' and 'that', 'these' and 'those' is attributed exclusively to pragmatic factors such as, say, physical or "conceptual" distance , but even if so, it needs to be said explicitly. Second, since the author is concerned mainly with his own theory, nothing with the exception of some basic claims can be found here on how this theory is related to other theories of quantification and context-dependence and how the relevant data is related to similar phenomena.
Nevertheless, I am sure that a brief look on similar phenomena could increase our knowledge of the deep mechanisms described in the monograph.
Related Complex Demonstratives: A Quantificational Account
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