Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kaplan's considerations.

Whomsoever says, “I am here now” speaks truly. Is it a necessary truth? Nope. It’s not necessary de re that I am here now. De dicto, however, if “I am here now” is true, then necessarily, I am here now.

What of the following: “Necessarily, anyone who says, “I am here now” speaks truly”? I think this is another instance of the de dicto reading. After all, the proposition seems to pick out a relation between a state of affairs (i.e. “being here now”) with a proposition correctly expressing such a state of affairs (i.e. the sentence “I am here now” that expressed the true proposition “I am here now.")


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Blogger Louis said...

do all propositions that are "true" or "false" by virtue of their very definition actually have truth value?

4:21 PM  
Blogger Derek von Barandy said...

Nice Meta meta move. Jerk. Hmm. I was going to respond with, "Yes, of course they do, douche." But then I thought about it. Perhaps you're thinking that the reason why analytic "truths" can't have a truth value because they are don't genuinely predicate. Why not? Because analytic truths are tautological. If "bachelor" and "unmarried males" are two different terms for the same thing, then saying " All bachelors are unmarried males" is equivalent to saying "All X is X", which hardly seems to be genuine case of predication.


Well. So be it. But aside from this interesting aside, the question as to whether or not analytic "truths" qualify as truth-predicate worthy, the phrase, "I am here now" doesn't seem to be true by definition! When I say "I am here now", all of these indexicals have a very specific semantic content- namely:
(IT) "Derek [I] is [am] in his living room [here] at 5:26 pm PST [now]."

Surely (IT) isn't true by definition. Surely they predicate. Surely "I am here now" is necessarily true (de dicto).

5:32 PM  

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