Volume 115, Issue 7, July 2018
Pure Quotation Is Demonstrative Reference
In a paper published recently in the Journal of Philosophy, Mario Gómez-Torrente provides a methodological argument for the “disquotational,” Tarski-inspired theory of pure quotation. Gómez-Torrente’s previous work has greatly contributed to making this theory perhaps the most widely supported view of pure quotation in recent years, against all other theories including the Davidsonian, demonstrative view for which I myself have argued. Gómez-Torrente argues that rival views make quotation “an eccentric or anomalous phenomenon.” I aim to turn the methodological tables. I reply to his objections to my own version of a demonstrative account, and I show that disquotational proposals provide no better account of the data. I also show that, unlike the demonstrative account, disquotational views make an ungrounded distinction between quotations that semantically refer to their intuitive referents and others that merely speaker-refer to them. I conclude that the demonstrative account is to be preferred on abductive grounds.