Title

THE COGNITIVE SIGNIFICANCE OF AND WHAT IS SAID BY DEMONSTRATIVE AND INDEXICAL SENTENCES

Date of Award

12-1995

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

Supervisor

N. Griffin

Abstract

Frege did not develop an analysis of the sense of demonstrative or indexical expressions. It is possible, though, to understand Frege's analysis of thoughts as providing a set of constraints on the sense of all expressions, including demonstratives and indexicals. It will be shown that, for Frege, the sense of a demonstrative/indexical expression "α", must conform with the following four constraints:

(FS 1) The sense of "α" is a mode of presentation of a reference.

(FS 2) The sense of "α" must be a determinant of the cognitive significance of a rational person's understanding of the sentence "α is Φ".

(FS 3) The sense of "α", along with the senses of the other constituent expressions of the sentence "α is Φ", which expresses a thought, must determine a fixed truth value.

(FS 4) The sense of "α" is a determinant of the objective content of what is said by someone uttering "α is Φ" as well as the objective judgeable content of "α is Φ"

In this paper, I will attempt to investigate whether there is anything which demonstratives/indexicals possess which conforms with these constraints.

I will attempt to show that demonstratives/indexicals possess something which may be characterized as modes of presentation of reference, which are determinants of cognitive significance, as well as determinants of fixed truth values. To this end, I will develop an account of the cognitive significance of a rational person's understanding of demonstrative/indexical sentences. I will also attempt to show that a demonstrative/indexical possesses something which may be characterized as a mode of presentation of reference, and which, with qualification, is a determinant of the objective content of what is said by someone uttering a sentence containing the demonstrative/indexical as a constituent expression.

We will see that as a result of my investigation of demonstrative/indexical expressions, we must distinguish four non-identical types of contents which can be possessed by indexical/demonstrative utterances, i.e., cognitive significance, "grasped content", "re-expressible content" and linguistic meaning.

McMaster University Library

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