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Language and Mind Seminar | Victor Tamburini “Proximal intentions and the metasemantics of demonstratives”

September 27 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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According to a family of views called intentionalism, what object a demonstrative such as ‘this’ or ‘that’ refers to when uttered is at least partly determined by the speaker’s referential intentions. In order to save intentionalism from counterexamples, some of its proponents contend that speakers have multiple referential intentions when uttering a demonstrative, and that some of these intentions prevail over the others to determine reference. Here I focus on one popular development of this response, which I call ‘proximal intentions intentionalism’ – PI intentionalism for short. According to PI intentionalism, the speaker’s proximal intentions – as opposed to her distal intentions – determine the reference of demonstratives. The aim of this talk is to assess PI intentionalism, and from this assessment to draw broader conclusions about theories of reference-determination for demonstratives.


September 27
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Edgecliffe G03