Eliot Michaelson McGill University
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  1. Eliot Michaelson (2014). Shifty Characters. Philosophical Studies 167 (3):519-540.
    In “Demonstratives”, David Kaplan introduced a simple and remarkably robust semantics for indexicals. Unfortunately, Kaplan’s semantics is open to a number of apparent counterexamples, many of which involve recording devices. The classic case is the sentence “I am not here now” as recorded and played back on an answering machine. In this essay, I argue that the best way to accommodate these data is to conceive of recording technologies as introducing special, non-basic sorts of contexts, accompanied by non-basic conventions governing (...)
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  2. Jonathan Cohen & Eliot Michaelson (2013). Indexicality and The Answering Machine Paradox. Philosophy Compass 8 (6):580-592.
    Answering machines and other types of recording devices present prima facie problems for traditional theories of the meaning of indexicals. The present essay explores a range of semantic and pragmatic responses to these issues. Careful attention to the difficulties posed by recordings promises to help enlighten the boundaries between semantics and pragmatics more broadly.
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  3. Eliot Michaelson (2012). Justice for Unicorns. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (3):351-360.
    Many philosophers have suggested that metaethical scepticism is an inherently unstable position. Recently, Dworkin has offered an argument to this effect, claiming that (a) metaethical scepticism entails a set of first-order moral claims, and (b) this set of claims is internally inconsistent. The present essay shows why this argument fails. Along the way, it situates a plausible anti-realist semantics within the range of options for dealing with uncontroversially non-referring terms, like ‘unicorns’.
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