This and That: A Theory of Reference for Names, Demonstratives, and Things in Between

Dissertation, UCLA (2013)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
This dissertation sets out to answer the question ''What fixes the semantic values of context-sensitive referential terms—like names, demonstratives, and pronouns—in context?'' I argue that it is the speaker's intentions that play this role, as constrained by the conventions governing the use of particular sorts of referential terms. These conventions serve to filter the speaker's intentions for just those which meet these constraints on use, leaving only these filtered-for intentions as semantically relevant. By considering a wide range of cases, including many involving confused and deceptive speakers, I argue that this 'constraint theory' provides a better account of linguistic reference than does any extant alternative, whether intentionalist or non-intentionalist. Along the way, I argue that semantics cannot depend on the reactions of idealized listeners, that speaker meaning is far less clear, and helpful, a notion than it is standardly taken to be, and that speakers needn't aim to be cooperative in order to fix the meaning of their terms in context.
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2019-09-10
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
No Context, No Content, No Problem.Ethan Nowak - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
Discourse and Method.Ethan Nowak & Eliot Michaelson - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-20.
The Edenic Theory of Reference.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):276-308.
A Defence of Intentionalism About Demonstratives.Alex Radulescu - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-17.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
6 ( #43,087 of 42,302 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #41,901 of 42,302 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.