Philosophy; Kaplan, Kripkenstein

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1. David Kaplan makes several statements regarding the use of demonstratives. Primarily he claims that there are two obvious principles that govern the use of what he calls demonstratives. Furthermore Kaplan says that the two obvious principles of demonstratives also yield two different kinds of meaning. To start the discussion I will speak of the two obvious principles of demonstratives.

Kaplan's theory of demonstratives is based on what he claims to be two obvious principles. These principles are as follows:

Principle 1 The referent of a pure indexical depends on the context, and the referent of a demonstrative depends on the associated demonstration.

Principle 2 Indexicals, pure and demonstrative alike, are directly referential.

At face value these principles appear to be conflicting. To alleviate conflict I will first discuss principle 1. However, before discussing the details of the principles we must first understand how Kaplan uses the words demonstrative and indexical. Kaplan places demonstratives into two classes as follows:

1) (Pure) demonstratives require a demonstration to complete its function. Demonstratives include words like he, she, it, this, etc.

2) (Pure) indexicals do not require a demonstration. Indexicals include words such as I, today, yesterday, tomorrow, now, etc.

Principle 1 (P1) makes two claims. The first claim is that the referent of the demonstrative depends on the demonstration. For example, the referent of the sentence "She is pretty  depends on whom the speaker of the statement is pointing to. It should be noted that for demonstratives such as he and she the demonstration is sometimes within the body of the utterance, that is, securing reference does not require a physical demonstration such as pointing. For example, if I were to make the statement "She is pretty  and there is only one female in the room than a physical gesture such as poi... Continue Reading