David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 107 (1):1 - 21 (2002)
Whilst it may seem strange to ask to whom "I" refers, we show that there are occasions when it is not always obvious. In demonstrating this we challenge Kaplan's assumption that the utterer, agent and referent of "I" are always the same person. We begin by presenting what we regard to be the received view about indexical reference popularized by David Kaplan in his influential 1972 "Demonstratives" before going on, in section 2, to discuss Sidelle's answering machine paradox which may be thought to threaten this view, and his deferred utterance method of resolving this puzzle. In section 3 we introduce a novel version of the answering machine paradox which suggests that, in certain cases, Kaplan's identification of utterer, agent and referent of "I" breaks down. In the fourth section we go on to consider a recent revision of Kaplan's picture by Predelli which appeals to the intentions of the utterer, before arguing that this picture is committed to unacceptable consequences and, therefore, should be avoided if possible. Finally, in section 5, we present a new revision of Kaplan's account which retains much of the spirit of his original proposal whilst offering a intuitively acceptable way to explain all of the apparently problematic data. In doing so, we also show how this picture is able to explain the scenario which motivated Predelli's account without appealing to speaker intentions.
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