Disarming Context Dependence. A Formal Inquiry into Indexicalism and Truth-Conditional Pragmatics

Dissertation, University of Gothenburg (2019)
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In the debate about semantic context dependence, various truth-conditional frameworks have been proposed. Indexicalism, associated with e.g. Jason Stanley, accounts for contextual effects on truth conditions in terms of a rich covert syntax. Truth-conditional pragmatics, associated with e.g. Fran├žois Recanati, does not locate the mechanisms for context dependence in the syntactic structure but provides a more complex semantics. In this dissertation, the hypothesis that indexicalism and truth-conditional pragmatics are empirically equivalent is explored. The conclusion that the hypothesis is correct emerges, when claims and accounts in the debate are made formally precise, within the framework of model-theoretic semantics.

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Stellan Petersson
University of Gothenburg


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