Advertisement

Erkenntnis

, Volume 83, Issue 6, pp 1181–1194 | Cite as

Comments on Stephen Yablo’s Aboutness

  • Katharina FelkaEmail author
Critical Discussion
  • 200 Downloads

Abstract

This paper concerns Yablo’s theory of asserted content as it is developed in his new book Aboutness. Yablo’s central idea is that in order to specify the asserted content of a sentence, we have to subtract those parts of its full semantic content that concern irrelevant subject matters. The paper argues that it is doubtful whether Yablo’s account successfully deals with its most basic envisaged application: to account for a difference of apparent truth value in cases of ordinary presupposition failure. In addition, some doubts are raised concerning the success of the extension of Yablo’s account to fictional talk, the informativeness of identity statements, and ontological commitments of number talk.

References

  1. Donnellan, K. S. (1966). Reference and definite description. Philosophical Review, 75, 281–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Felka, K. (2015). On the presuppositions of number sentences. Synthese, 192, 1393–1412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Felka, K. (2017). If-thenism. A plausible account of talk about abstracta? Australasian Philosophical Review, 1(2).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lasersohn, P. (1993). Existence presuppositions and background knowledge. Journal of Semantics, 10, 113–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Schoubye, A. J. (2009). Descriptions, truth value intuitions, and questions. Linguistics and Philosophy, 32, 583–617.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Strawson, P. F. (1950). On referring. Mind, 59, 320–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Strawson, P. F. (1964). Identifying reference and truth values. Theoria, 30, 96–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. von Fintel, K. (2004). Would you believe it? The king of France is back!. In A. Bezuidenhout & M. Reimer (Eds.), Descriptions and beyond (pp. 315–341). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  9. Wright, C., & Hale, B. (1992). Nominalism and the contingency of abstract objects. Journal of Philosophy, 89, 115–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Yablo, S. (2006). Non-catastrophic presupposition failure. In A. Byrne & J. J. Thomson (Eds.), Content and modality: Themes from the philosophy of Robert Stalnaker (pp. 164–190). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Yablo, S. (2014). Aboutness. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für PhilosophieUniversität ZürichZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations