What Is Said: An Inquiry into Reference, Meaning and Content
This book investigates the relationship among the notions of meaning, content, and what is said. It is widely held that indexicals ¿ words like 'this', 'I', or 'today' ¿ contribute their reference, and nothing but their reference, to the semantic content, and thereby undermine any tentative identification of semantic content with lexical meaning. Against the mainstream view, Isidora Stojanovic argues that semantic content is lexical meaning, for indexical and non-indexical expressions alike. In Chapter 1, she lays down the proposal in all due detail, explaining how to think of the semantic content of sentences containing indexicals, and articulating the relationship between content, truth, and reference. In Chapter 2, she presents a number of problems for the existing accounts of what is said, and then shows that if we think of semantic content along the lines of her proposal, we may account for the problematic cases while identifying the asserted content (or what is said) with semantic content. In Chapter 3, she extends her account to definite descriptions, epistemic modals, and proper names.