12 Febbraio 2018, MILANO via Festa del Perdono 7 - Aula Enzo Paci
Categoria: Curriculum Episteme

Seminars of Philosophy of Perception, Mind, and Language

Monday, 12 February, 2018 – h. 13.30

Aula “Enzo Paci”

Via Festa del Perdono, 7

Christopher Gauker  (Salzburg)

Against the Speaker-intention Theory of Demonstratives


It is commonly held that an utterance of a bare demonstrative, such as “that”, refers to an object o only if the speaker intends it to refer to o.  First, I argue that the theory is best formulated as a thesis concerning the conditions under which a formal context pertains to an utterance.  Second, I pose three objections to this theory:  It is question-begging; it is psychologically implausible; and it is inconsistent with the plausible assumption that thoughts too can contain bare demonstratives.  Finally, I sketch an alternative theory of the reference of demonstratives, according to which the reference of a demonstrative is that which is identified by an all-things-considered judgment that takes into account various accessibility criteria.