The 2022 Rolf Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy 2022 is awarded to David Kaplan, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
“for his contributions to the understanding of the role played by the extra-linguistic context for the semantics of natural language, for the logic of natural language sentences, and for the nature of belief.”
David Kaplan is the Hans Reichenbach Professor of Scientific Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Kaplan has made ground-breaking contributions to the understanding of the semantics of indexical expressions and their role in natural language. They include pronouns such as “I” and “him”, demonstratives such as “that girl”, and temporal adverbs like “yesterday”. The meaning of such expressions partly depends on the context in which they are used. To describe their role, Kaplan extended a framework of modern logic that is called possible-worlds semantics.
Its standard versions have two semantic levels, but Kaplan showed that indexicals require a third, intermediate level. The contents of speakers´ thoughts belong at this level. He also showed that this level has its own logic, which he chose to call the Logic of Demonstratives, and he developed the model theory – the formal semantic theory – for this logic.
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