Pluralism for Relativists: a new framework for context-dependence

In Proceedings of the 18th workshop of the Logic and Engineering of Natural Language Semantics (LENLS). pp. 3-16 (2021)
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Abstract

We propose a framework that makes space for both non-indexical contextualism and assessment-sensitivity. Such pluralism is motivated by considering possible variance in judgments about retraction. We conclude that the proposed pluralism, instead of problematizing, vindicates defining truth of a proposition w.r.t. a context of utterance and a context of assessment. To implement this formally, we formalize initialization of parameters by contexts. Then, a given parameter, depending on a speaker's judgment, can get initialized by either the context of utterance or the context of assessment. An upshot of the proposal is that one need not exclusively espouse one of non-indexical contextualism or assessment-sensitivity about a particular class of expressions, for instance predicates of personal taste, in language; one can be pluralist in this sense. (This manuscript is part of an ongoing research project).

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Ahmad Jabbar
Stanford University

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