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Contextualism and Minimalism about De Se Belief Ascription K. M. Jaszczolt University of Cambridge 1.

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2 Contextualism and Minimalism about De Se Belief Ascription K. M. Jaszczolt University of Cambridge 1

3 ‘I once followed a trail of sugar on a supermarket floor, pushing my cart down the aisle on one side of a tall counter and back the aisle on the other, seeking the shopper with the torn sack to tell him he was making a mess. With each trip around the counter, the trail became thicker. But I seemed unable to catch up. Finally it dawned on me. I was the shopper I was trying to catch.’ Perry (1979: 3) 2

4 Early discussions: the status of the objects of attitudes exorcising propositions introducing properties and ‘relations to oneself’ (Lewis 1979; Perry 1979) 3

5 Early discussions: the status of the objects of attitudes exorcising propositions introducing properties and ‘relations to oneself’ (Lewis 1979; Perry 1979) propositions revindicated (Cresswell 1985; Kaplan 1989a; Crimmins and Perry 1989; Schiffer 1992; Perry 2001) ? compositional semantics of de se belief reports 4

6 (1)The person who agreed to organise the drinks is to blame. (2)I am to blame. I completely forgot I was put in charge. Perry (2001, 2009): referential content as the ‘default’ content 5

7 Arguments against referentialism (i) Minimalism: semantics pertains to the language system (vs. the use of this system in communication) truth conditions are separated from conditions of verification Borg, e.g. 2004,

8 Arguments against referentialism (i) Minimalism: semantics pertains to the language system (vs. the use of this system in communication) truth conditions are separated from conditions of verification Borg, e.g. 2004, 2007 (ii) Contextualist semantics, cognitive significance. Addressees can assign different kinds of information, and even different referents, to the first-person singular pronoun. 7

9 ‘She’ (3)a.the person who is just talking to me whoever she may be b.Kasia Jaszczolt (i.e. the correct referent) c. the person who agreed to organize the drinks reception (whatever her name is) d.Alyson Brown (i.e. a referential mistake) 8

10 ’I’ (4)a.the person who agreed to organize the drinks reception b. the person who agreed at the meeting of the Faculty Board that Professor Brown should organise the drinks reception c.I = Kasia Jaszczolt d.I = Alyson Brown (mistaken reference) 9

11 One type of content can yield different interpretations on different occasions (cf. 3d). 10

12 referential semantics conflates (1) with (2): (1)The person who agreed to organise the drinks is to blame. (2)I am to blame. I completely forgot I was put in charge. (5) x [to-blame(x)] (kasia jaszczolt) 11

13 Kaplan’s content-character distinction does not offer a choice between minimal linguistic meaning of ‘I’ and the referent. 12

14 The indexical expression brings with it two kinds of cognitive significance: availability of the referent and the potential availability of other referents for different indices. Both are equally important for semantic representation. Cf. two-dimensional semantics (Stalnaker’s e.g. 1978, 2011 propositional concept) 13

15 Context-set: a set of possible worlds that are compatible with what is presupposed by the speaker in a situation of discourse. nondefective context 14

16 The concept of de se in belief expressions and attributions alike, is ineliminable from any kind of approach to meaning, be it minimalist or contextualist. 15

17 Outline contextualist approach to de se ascription, compatible with deriving the default self-awareness from grammar; 16

18 Outline contextualist approach to de se ascription, compatible with deriving the default self-awareness from grammar; minimalist accounts of de se; 17

19 Outline contextualist approach to de se ascription, compatible with deriving the default self-awareness from grammar; mininimalist accounts of de se; conclusion: de se is entrenched in both minimalist and contextualist accounts; 18

20 Outline contextualist approach to de se ascription, compatible with deriving the default self-awareness from grammar; mininimalist accounts of de se; conclusion: de se is entrenched in both minimalist and contextualist accounts; representation of de se reports and de se self-attributions in Default Semantics; 19

21 Outline contextualist approach to de se ascription, compatible with deriving the default self-awareness from grammar; mininimalist accounts of de se; conclusion: de se is entrenched in both minimalist and contextualist accounts; representation of de se reports and de se self-attributions in Default Semantics; persistence of self-awareness and the plausibility of a semantically ineradicable de se. 20

22 Contextualist Perspectives on De Se Contextualism : semantic representation (or: the truth- conditionally evaluable representation) comprises diverse aspects of utterance meaning. 21

23 Contextualist Perspectives on De Se Contextualism : semantic representation (or: the truth- conditionally evaluable representation) comprises diverse aspects of utterance meaning. (i)free, top-down modulation, unarticulated constituents (e.g. Recanati 2004, 2005b, 2010) (ii)hidden-indexical theory, additions to the sentence meaning are traceable to the logical form (e.g. Schiffer 1977, 1992, 1996; also e.g. Crimmins and Perry 1989) (iii)all truth-conditional effects of context can be traced to logical form (e.g. Stanley 2002; Stanley and Szabó 2000 ) 22

24 (6)John Perry: I am making a mess. (7)John Perry believes that he is making a mess (7a)FM:John Perry believes of himself that he is making a mess. (7b)HIT:There is a contextually salient mode of presentation m of a type Φ* and John Perry believes of John Perry that he is making a mess, under m.  John Perry believes of himself that he is making a mess. 23

25 (6)John Perry: I am making a mess. (7)John Perry believes that he is making a mess (7a)FM:John Perry believes of himself that he is making a mess. (7b)HIT:There is a contextually salient mode of presentation m of a type Φ* and John Perry believes of John Perry that he is making a mess, under m.  John Perry believes of himself that he is making a mess. 24

26 What is it that makes m adopt the value of a self-referring type? ? semantic properties of the first-person pronoun Cancellation of self-attribution for situations where (6) does not apply: (8)John Perry believes that he is making a mess but he doesn’t realise it is him. 25

27 ? grammar produces the self-referring function Kratzer (2009): pronouns can be ambiguous between a referential and a bound-variable interpretation (9)I’m the only one around here who can take care of my children. (10)Only I admitted what I did wrong. (11)‘Only you can eat what you cook.’ 26

28 bound-variable uses are rare, restricted, and differ from language to language. (11)Tylko ja jeden przyznałem się do błędu. only 1Sg soleSgMNom admit1SgPastM Refl to mistakeSgMGen (12) Tylko ja jedna tutaj potrafię zajmować się Only 1Sg soleSgFNom here can1SgPres careInf Refl swoimi dziećmi. ReflPronPlInstr childPlInstr 27

29 Kratzer: (i)bound variable pronouns are underlyingly referential pronouns whose meaning can be accounted for through context-shifting. or: (ii)they are unspecified and obtain the meaning through feature transmission from their binders in functional heads. 28

30 Kratzer: (i)bound variable pronouns are underlyingly referential pronouns whose meaning can be accounted for through context-shifting. or: (ii)they are unspecified and obtain the meaning through feature transmission from their binders in functional heads.  grammatical foundation of self-reference ? Grammar conveys not self-reference but self-awareness Argument from logophoric pronouns and PRO 29

31 Suggestion so far: Truth-conditional content can be construed generously or sparingly; it can be contextualist or minimalist. But it is a mistake to conflate contextualism with free contextual modulation and minimalism with the output of grammar. Both contextualism and minimalism allow for construals on which grammar provides self-awareness as a component of the semantic content. 30

32 Allocation of self-awareness to grammar is a matter of an agreement as to what we want the grammar to do: capture strong tendencies or capture patterns that underdetermine meaning. 31

33 Allocation of self-awareness to grammar is a matter of an agreement as to what we want the grammar to do: capture strong tendencies or capture patterns that underdetermine meaning. Experiments by Larson et al. (2009): what subjects consider to be literal meaning is a matter of gradation that cuts across Gricean components of meaning NN. 32

34 A disclaimer: non-coreferential reading (13)Kasia believes that she is to blame. 33

35 A disclaimer: non-coreferential reading (13)Kasia believes that she is to blame. a strong tendency for coreference, van der Sandt’s (1992) local accommodation (presupposition as anaphora) grammar delivers contextualist default contents 34

36 Against the syntactic ambiguity view de se/de re about oneself (13)Kasia believes that she is to blame. 35

37 Against the syntactic ambiguity view de se/de re about oneself (13)Kasia believes that she is to blame. Percus and Sauerland (2003): logical form contains ‘variables over concept-generators’ de re: the complement of ‘believes’ denotes a function from concept-generators to a proposition; de se : the complement of ‘believes’ denotes a function from concept-generators to properties, achieved via type-shifting (cf. Chierchia 1989) 36

38 Chierchia (1989: 28): The cognitive access to oneself is ‘systematically excluded from the interpretation of (non- pronominal) referential expressions. It is systematically present in the interpretation of overt pronouns. It is systematically and unambiguously associated with the interpretation of PRO the null subject of infinitives and gerunds. It is associated with the interpretation of long- distance reflexives (at least in some languages)’. 37

39 Long-distance reflexives (e.g. Chinese ziji, Japanese zibun, or Korean caki) are not specified for person, number of gender (have no  -features) and can have many functions such as subject, object, indirect object, or possessor. Takasi-ga zibun-ga tensai da to omotteiru. Takasi-SUBJ self-SUBJgenius isCOMP think Takasi 1 thinks that he 1 is a genius. (adapted from Huang 2000: 191) 38

40  ? The cognitive access to the self is present in the semantics of English. Other arguments: Modified Occam’s Razor (Grice 1978) Pace Chierchia, cognitive access to oneself is not so ‘systematically’ excluded from the interpretation of non- pronominal expressions: (15)Sammy wants a biscuit. (16)Mummy will be with you in a moment. honorifics (e.g. Thai ‘mouse’) 39

41 Kaplan (1989a: 491): uttering ‘I’ and pointing at someone else is ‘irrelevance or madness or what?’ But: (17)I believe I should have prepared the drinks party. In a way I also believed that I should have done it when I walked into the room. The fact is, the person appointed by the Faculty Board should have done it and as I later realised I was this person. 40

42 (18) Wiem, że to ja powinnam była przygotować te Know1SgPres that Dem I should1SgFemPast prepareInf thisAccPl drinki. Wtedy też wiedziałam, ale nie wiedziałam, drinkPlMAcc Then also know1SgFemPast but not know1SgFemPast że ‘ja’ to ja. that I Dem I 41

43 Chierchia: an argument from PRO (19)Lidia wants to be a scientist. no underlying ‘I’-reference ‘I want to be a scientist.’ (20)Lidia wants to be the smartest kid in the class. (21)Lidia’s mother wants what Lidia wants and that’s why she is buying her lots of academic books. no underlying ‘I’-reference 42

44 In defence of default, grammar-based de se De se readings are common and taken for granted. De re is heavily marked in that it normally requires a disclaimer, hedging, or a repair mechanism. 43

45 In defence of default grammar-based de se De se readings are common and taken for granted. De re is heavily marked in that it normally requires a disclaimer, hedging, or a repair mechanism. It is methodologically more judicious to assume that grammar produces standard readings (the conceptual universal of self- reference; the omission of the pronoun in pro-drop languages without introducing ambiguity) 44

46 (22)Kasia wie, że jest winna. Kasiaknow3SgPres that be3SgPres guiltySgFN (23)Kasia wie, że ona jest winna. Kasia know3SgPres that 3SgFbe3SgPres guiltySgF (24)Kasia wie, że to ona jest winna. Kasia know3SgPres that Dem she be3SgPres guiltySgF 45

47 Further arguments: unequivocal assessment of PRO as syntactically de se logophors  syntactic representation of de se at large, as a universal conceptual category 46

48 The facts so far: The essence of de se is self-awareness, the epistemic concept of the access to one’s consciousness; 47

49 The facts so far: The essence of de se is self-awareness, the epistemic concept of the access to one’s consciousness; De se is either the only interpretation or the strongly preferred, unmarked interpretation of the sentences that attribute it, depending on the language, expression, and structure (cf. anaphoric pronouns, PRO, logophors); 48

50 The facts so far: The essence of de se is self-awareness, the epistemic concept of the access to one’s consciousness; De se is either the only interpretation or the strongly preferred, unmarked interpretation of the sentences that attribute it, depending on the language, expression, and structure (cf. anaphoric pronouns, PRO, logophors); Cancelling this preferred reading is a cumbersome conversational strategy. 49

51 Contextualist orientation to truth-conditional content does not preclude deriving some of the optional aspects of meaning, such as de se reading of third-person pronouns in belief reports, from the grammar; 50

52 Contextualist orientation to truth-conditional content does not preclude deriving some of the optional aspects of meaning, such as de se reading of third-person pronouns in belief reports, from the grammar; Self-awareness persists across self-attribution and third- person attribution. First person: self-awareness weakens to a mere strong preference for time-shifted expressions. Third- person reports : a strong tendency for self-awareness. 51

53 Minimalist Standpoints and De Se Minimal semantics (Borg, e.g. 2004, 2007, ‘liberal truth conditions’); Insensitive semantics (Cappelen and Lepore, e.g. 2005, basic set of context-sensitive expressions); Radical Semantic Minimalism (Bach, e.g. 2004, 2006, 2007, rejection of propositionalism from semantics) (25)He cut the sun. 52

54 (26)I believe I am making a mess. self-attributive reading with self-awareness via the default output of grammar à la Chierchia (2004) cancellation = a grammar-semantics mismatch (first-person pronoun used for a third-person concept): (26a)Look, I believe in this scene that I am making a mess but I don’t know it is me. 53

55 Semantic content of (26) in minimalisms: (26b)MS:The contextually salient speaker believes of himself/herself that he/she is making a mess. (26c)IS:John Perry believes of himself that he is making a mess. (26d)RSM:The speaker x believes that he/she x is making a mess. 54

56 Semantic content of (26) in minimalisms: (26b)MS:The contextually salient speaker believes of himself/herself that he/she is making a mess.  m (26c)IS:John Perry believes of himself that he is making a mess. x m (26d)RSM:The speaker x believes that he/she x is making a mess.  m 55

57 vs. no self-attributive content in minimalism: (27)I believe the person spilling the sugar is making a mess. (28)I believe that man is making a mess. 56

58 (7)John Perry believes that he is making a mess. Only SM, and possibly RSM, pass the test. 57

59 IS collapses to a rather poor version of contextualism in virtue of sitting mid-way between contextualism and minimalism MS and RSM fulfil their raison d’être with respect to the language system but at the expense of misrepresenting the power of grammar. The grammar-pragmatics interface does not allow for a theoretical divide in that when we attribute strong tendencies to grammar (partially supported), there has to be an option for them not to be realised in a particular situation of discourse. 58

60  Proposal: Semantics that does not ‘split’ the power of grammar into that pertaining to the system and that pertaining to how grammar functions in utterance processing. De se belief ascription provides strong support for a contextualist construal 59

61 Default De Se (13) Kasia believes that she is to blame. (29)Kasia believes that she is to blame although she doesn’t realise that the person to whom she refers as the organiser of the drinks party is she herself. 60

62 Default De Se (13)Kasia believes that she is to blame. (29)Kasia believes that she is to blame although she doesn’t realise that the person to whom she refers as the organiser of the drinks party is she herself. Maier’s (2009) default de se: (i) syntactic processing results in a de dicto reading; (ii) presuppositions added (‘equality first’), coreference is established as a default link; (iii) if  recognize (x,x)), then no coreference and search continues. 61

63 De Se in Default Semantics Jaszczolt 2005, 2007, 2010, forthcoming a,b Sources of meaning information (i)world knowledge (WK) (ii)world meaning and sentence structure (WS) (iii)situation of discourse (SD) (iv)properties of the human inferential system (IS) (v)stereotypes and presumptions about society and culture (SC) 62

64 Types of processes that interact in producing the merger representation: (i)processing of word meaning and sentence structure (WS) (ii)pragmatic inference (from situation of discourse, social and cultural assumptions, and world knowledge) (CPI) (iii)automatic production of cognitive defaults (CD) (iv)automatic production of social, cultural and world- knowledge defaults (SCWD) 63

65 (26)I believe I am making a mess. (WS) (32)When I first noticed the trail of sugar, I also believed, in a sense, that I was making a mess. (WS + CPI) (7)John Perry believes that he is making a mess. (WS, preceded by presupposition as anaphora) 64

66 Pragmatic compositionality a supervenience relation between linguistic expressions and a metaphysical (compositional) foundation (Szabó 2000; Schiffer, e.g. 1992, 1996, 2003) 65

67 Pragmatic compositionality a supervenience relation between linguistic expressions and a metaphysical (compositional) foundation (Szabó 2000; Schiffer, e.g. 1992, 1996, 2003) methodological assumption: a shift of compositionality requirement to the level of interaction of semantic and pragmatic properties (Recanati 2004, 2010; Jaszczolt 2005a, 2010) 66

68 Bel (x,  ’) the individual x has the cognitive state represented as an embedded representation  ’ 67

69 (i)CD  default status of de re (ii)coreference x=y (iii)  de se (= from CD, WS) 68

70 69

71 (7)John Perry believes that he is making a mess. 70

72 71

73 (33)John Perry believes that that man/the man with a split bag of sugar is making a mess. DRT-style accounts : discourse referents are introduced for directly referential and contextually referential expressions alike. 72

74 73

75 NB there is no non-default, coreferential reading of (33) (34)John Perry believes that that man/the man with a split bag of sugar is making a mess and he doesn’t realise that he is that man. 74

76 The representation of de se was produced without resort to the first person. 75

77 (35)I believed I was making a mess. (36)In a sense, I believed I was making a mess. I just didn’t know that the person I referred to was I. 76

78 coreference: condition [y=x] WS the lack of self-awareness: differentiation of indexing on x and y (CD vs CPI) and the non-default use of the belief operator (CPI) 77

79 (35) I believed I was making a mess. 78

80 Summary and Conclusion In virtue of its recognition of default interpretations, the contextualist DS-theoretic account sits mid-way between Chierchia’s syntactic and Maier’s pragmatic solutions to de se. 79

81 Summary and Conclusion In virtue of its recognition of default interpretations, the contextualist DS-theoretic account sits mid-way between Chierchia’s syntactic and Maier’s pragmatic solutions to de se. Once we have shifted compositionality to the level of the merger of information (  ), the differences between syntactic and pragmatic solutions are significantly reduced. 80

82 Rather than argue whether conscious self-reference comes from the logical form or from pragmatic enrichment, we acknowledge its default status triggered by the grammar and aided by the IS source and the CD process that produce an interpretation pertaining to the strongest intentionality of the speaker’s mental state. 81

83 The cognitive significance of ‘I’ comes from its being an inherently perspectival concept; whatever we think, do, or experience, we are conscious of being the thinker, agent, or experiencer. Any reductive explanation of this self- consciousness is a challenge. 82

84 The cognitive significance of ‘I’ comes from its being an inherently perspectival concept; whatever we think, do, or experience, we are conscious of being the thinker, agent, or experiencer. Any reductive explanation of this self- consciousness is a challenge. (37)Kasia believes that she is to blame although she does not realise she is that person. (38)Kasia believes that the person in charge of the drinks is to blame but she doesn’t realise that she is that person. 83

85 Coreference condition normally comes with self-ascription, cf. PRO and logophors (  a scale) 84

86 Coreference condition normally comes with self-ascription, cf. PRO and logophors (  a scale) One cannot build a theory of meaning on the avoidance of what can sometimes be meant. But one can build a theory of meaning around what can possibly be meant by an expression on an occasion of use. 85

87 Coreference condition normally comes with self-ascription, cf. PRO and logophors (  a scale) One cannot build a theory of meaning on the avoidance of what can sometimes be meant. But one can build a theory of meaning around what can possibly be meant by an expression on an occasion of use. For the perspectival belief, we have to semanticize the cognitive significance that comes with this perspective, be it in the belief expression or a belief report. 86

88 Coreference condition normally comes with self-ascription, cf. PRO and logophors (  a scale) One cannot build a theory of meaning on the avoidance of what can sometimes be meant. But one can build a theory of meaning around what can possibly be meant by an expression on an occasion of use. For the perspectival belief, we have to semanticize the cognitive significance that comes with this perspective, be it in the belief expression or a belief report. Contextualist (broad) framework and pragmatic compositionality allow for this semanticization. 87

89 The derivation of the salient de se reading of belief reports from the processes WS and CD and the availability of a DS- theoretic representation on which they are processed analogously to the cases of first-person self-ascription constitute arguments in favour of a grammar-based contextualism. 88

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