Philosophical Studies

, Volume 174, Issue 1, pp 237–255 | Cite as

Jesus loves you!

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Abstract

According to orthodox semantics, a given sentence as used at a given situation expresses at most one content. In the last decade, this view has been challenged with several objections. Many of them have been addressed in the literature. But one has gone almost unheeded. It stems from sentences that are used to address several people individually, like ‘Jesus loves you!’ as uttered by a priest at a sermon. Cappelen (Philos Perspect 22(1):23–46, 2008), Egan (Synthese 166(2):251–279, 2009), López de Sa (Erkenntnis 79(1):241–253, 2014), and MacFarlane (Assessment sensitivity: relative truth and its applications. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014, ch. 4) claim that, to account for such cases, one has to adopt a pluralist semantics, according to which the sentences in question express more than one content. In this paper, I shall counter this objection. Exploiting different so far underappreciated features of singular and plural ‘you,’ I argue, orthodox semantics can very well account for the cases in question.

Keywords

Content pluralism Content relativism Indexicals Bound variables Pronouns 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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