1. Four years ago, when she was 8, Sally was the tallest kid in her class. But she has grown only 1 inch since then, and now, as a 12-year-old, she is the shortest kid in her class. Can we describe the situation in the following ways?:
1P. Four years ago, Sally was tall.
1C. Sally is not tall now, but she was tall four years ago.
2. Sam goes to pre-school with kids his own age. Sam is the only child who is at both the morning and the afternoon sessions of the pre-school. As it happens, all the other children who go to the morning session are shorter than Sam, and all the other children who go the afternoon session are taller than Sam. It’s now afternoon, so Sam is now surrounded by kids who are taller than he is. Can we describe the situation in the following ways?:
2P. Sam was tall this morning.
2C. Sam is not tall now, but he was tall this morning.
2CF. If many very short children came to the afternoon session, Sam would now be tall.
Case 1 above is loosely based on an example Jason Stanley discusses in his Knowledge and Practical Interests. Like Jason, I’m ultimately interested in such things because of how they may effect arguments concerning “knows”. But for now, I just want to ask: Any reactions?
(See p. 64 of K&PI for Stanley’s own case. One difference from Stanley’s presentation is that I’m considering sentences in the third-person about my young characters, while Stanley considers a first-person description he considers as being said by the child in his example. I worry that when we consider sentences as said by young children, we cut them a lot of slack, and find acceptable things that otherwise wouldn’t seem quite right.)