Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

The Journal of Philosophy Vol. 110, No. 7, July 2013

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

The Journal of Philosophy Vol. 110, No. 7, July 2013

Article excerpt

How Quotations Refer, MARIO GOMEZ-TORRENTE

The article argues for a theory on which quotations are unstructured, context-insensitive devices that get their referents fixed by a conventional wholesale reference-fixing rule. First, it criticizes recent "minimal," sui generis demonstrative and deflationist theories for postulating eccentric or anomalous facts concerning the ways in which noun phrases contribute to truth conditions, or concerning the semantics of demonstratives or general syntax. Second, it notes that the proposed theory is not subject to some familiar objections to classical theories, nor to eccentricity or anomalousness complaints. Third, it shows that recent arguments that quotations must be structured as or made equivalent with demonstrative phrases, or that they cannot get semantic referents via linguistic conventions, are mistaken. The considerations used rely on the observation that semantic unstructuredness, nondemonstrativeness, and conventional wholesale reference-fixing exploiting prereferential term-referent relations are plausibly combined in some naturally occurring classes of terms.--Correspondence to: mariogt@unam. …

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