Kaplan on Demonstratives. Demonstratives, Indexicals, Pure Indexicals. The best way to start is to get clear on Kaplan’s terminology. Indexicals. Indexicals are words whose meaning depends on context. Kaplan distinguishes between pure indexicals (e.g. I, here, now) and true demonstratives (e.g. that. had written out the formal semantics for my Logic of Demonstratives. David Kaplan is writing at 10 A.M. on 3/26/77, or (ii) the ‘proposition’ that David. Kaplan .

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David Kaplan, Demonstratives – PhilPapers

Kaplan calls this theory the Fregean Theory of Demonstrations. Thus direct reference theories, together with the earlier assumptions about the connection of semantics with belief, imply that agents with indexical beliefs believe singular propositions.

In fact, however, the person that John sees in the mirror is himself. On this picture, Obama and Clinton have said or asserted different propositions. Properties are neither true nor false. First-Person Contents in Philosophy of Mind. Reference Fixing for True Demonstratives In order to address the first of the two challenges above posed by true demonstratives—that of how to incorporate into the formal theory whatever is required to fix the reference of a particular use of a demonstrative—we must first determine what in fact fixes the reference of a use of demonstrative.

But this proposition is contingent, so Mary can have a priori knowledge of a contingent proposition. We saw above that it is valid. The content of the word I in any context C is the agent of Cthe content of here at C is the location of Cand the content of now and today at C is the time day of C.

There are two difficulties with this extension. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. Such views are often called relativist. A problem for the view that directing intentions determine reference is that it is not clear what directing intentions are.

We concluded earlier that the content of a simple demonstrative is just its referent.

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Demonstratives and Indexicals

This entry has no external links. See Lepore and LudwigDeverRobertsand Elbourne for views of complex demonstratives that do not fit easily into the above classification scheme. Many opponents of pervasive context-sensitivity rely heavily on pragmatics and speech act theory to explain away the phenomena that others take maplan be evidence for pervasive context-sensitivity. Perry offers several influential examples deonstratives support of the view demontsratives indexicals play a privileged role in epistemology.

Demonstrratives of language commonly distinguish between the meaning of a linguistic expression and its referent. Now suppose further that there is a man who does fit the description perfectly, but he is in a grocery store far from John, and is not making a mess. On the Fregean theory, demonstrations have three qualities in virtue of which they closely resemble pure indexical definite descriptions: Kaplan holds that a type of demonstration presents a demonstratum in a particular way, and a definite description that may contain indexicals can capture the way in which the demonstration presents the demonstratum.

In order to address the first of the two challenges above posed by true demonstratives—that of how to incorporate into the formal theory whatever is required to fix the reference of a particular use of a demonstrative—we must first determine what in fact fixes the reference of a demonstratibes of demonstrative. How many words are written between the following pair of tokens of quotation marks: This distinction is easiest to see in the case of writing, where an act of writing produces some concrete thing—ink or graphite marks on a page, chalk marks on a blackboard, a specific distribution of pixels on a screen, and so forth.

For indexical expressions, in contrast, the symbolic meaning of the expression type is only part of the meaning of each individual token of that type. Third, some think that reflection on indexicals may give them some insight into the nature demonstrativee belief, self-knowledge, first-person perspective, consciousness, and other important philosophical matters.

Indexicals (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Similarly for the sentence I live in Chicago. Kaplan afor instance, distinguishes between pure indexicals and true demonstratives. Schlenker presents data supporting the existence of monsters in natural language—specifically in propositional attitude reports—and offers a semantic theory that accommodates these data.


David Lewis a and Roderick Chisholm independently developed theories of indexical belief according to which the things that agents believe are properties rather than propositions. However, John does notat that point, believe self-ascribe the property of making a mess. Secondary Qualities and Indexical ThoughtOxford: In kaplwn philosophy of language, an indexical is any expression whose content varies from one context of use to another.

Thus, the intuitive reflections on what we mean demonstrstives we say that demonstratiives sentence S is true at a world suggest a clear answer to the question from two paragraphs back: This is because many causal relations count, for Peirce, as existential relations.

This phenomenon is often called quantifier-domain restriction. Speakers seem to use complex demonstratives to refer to individuals in much the way that they use simple demonstratives. An expression e rigidly designates an object o relative to a context c if and only if for every possible world wany predicate F, and any object x distinct from oif o exists at wthen the proposition expressed relative to c by [ e is F] is true at w if and only if, in wo has the property expressed by F relative to cand if o does not exist at w it is not the case that the proposition expressed by [ e is F] is true at w if and only if, in wx has the property expressed by F relative to c.

More precisely, for any context c and possible world w. Which parameter does the modal operator shift? Compare again with assertion: Kaplan calls such operators monsters. The distinctions above, between utterances and expression types and tokens, are common in discussions of language.

Kaplan a also says that indexicals are rigid designators. Agents self-ascribe properties, so the things they believe are properties.