Context-sensitivity

Abstract
(1) I’m Spartacus! [Said by Spartacus] (2) I’m Spartacus! [Said by Antoninus] What Spartacus said was true, and what Antoninus said was not. Yet the two slaves uttered the exact same sentence, so how can this be? Admittedly, the puzzle is not very hard, and its solution is uncontroversial. The first person pronoun “I” is – to use a technical term – context sensitive. When Spartacus uses it, it refers to Spartacus; when Antoninus uses it, it refers to Antoninus. So when Spartacus says “I’m Spartacus”, he expresses the true proposition that he, Spartacus, is Spartacus. And when Antoninus says it, he expresses the false proposition that he, Antoninus, is Spartacus. The sentence “I’m Spartacus” expresses different propositions when used by different people. Another example will help. Contrast these two utterances, made by subjects in a study carried out by experimental epistemologists: (3) This is a zebra. [Said by someone while pointing at a zebra] (4) This is a zebra. [Said by someone while pointing at a cleverly decorated mule].
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,304
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-01-06

Total downloads

106 ( #9,187 of 1,096,372 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #224,942 of 1,096,372 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.