Do characters play a cognitive role?

Philosophical Psychology 18 (2):219 – 229 (2005)
Abstract
Focusing on the 'today'/'yesterday' case, I argue that Perry is wrong in accounting for and explaining indexical belief states in terms of Kaplanian characters and in taking these states to be internal (narrow) mental states inside the subject's mind. It is shown that this view is at odds with Perry's own reliance on remembering a past day as a necessary condition for retaining a belief about it. As a better tool for explaining appropriate indexical beliefs, I offer an alternative which is neo-Fregean in that it takes senses or modes of presentation as playing only a cognitive, not a semantic role. It, however, takes remembering a past day as necessary for retaining a belief about it, rather than keeping track of time as urged by Evans. I also consider unfeasible Evans's further requirement which he takes over from Frege: that in order to retain a belief about a certain past day we need to think of it now under the same mode of presentation as we did on that very day.
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