That F is G: Defending Quantification

Date of Completion

January 2012






This dissertation is about the meaning of phrases like "That man" or "This bag". These phrases are described as Complex Demonstratives. There is a difference of opinion regarding whether these phrases are directly referential or quantificational. I have weighed the arguments regarding this debate in the dissertation. I have concluded that there are cogent arguments to believe that such phrases are quantificational. However, one cannot retain the insights of the directly referential account inside the quantificational account. That is a creditable move, but the move abandons a crucial property of quantifiers: permutation invariance. Since that is the case, I have suggested that given the evidence at hand, and the examination of the evidence in the dissertation, we may settle for a simpler theory that does not accommodate the intuitions of the direct referentialist. Those intuitions have to be accounted for through the intentions of a speaker when she utters phrases using complex demonstratives. ^