The impurity of “pure” indexicals

Philosophical Studies 138 (2):193 - 209 (2008)
Abstract
Within the class of indexicals, a distinction is often made between “pure” or “automatic” indexicals on one hand, and demonstratives or “discretionary” indexicals on the other. The idea is supposed to be that certain indexicals refer automatically and invariably to a particular feature of the utterance context: ‘I’ refers to the speaker, ‘now’ to the time of utterance, ‘here’ to the place of utterance, etc. Against this view, I present cases where reference shifts from the speaker, time, or place of utterance to some other object, time, or place. I consider and reject the claim that these counterexamples to the automatic indexical theory all involve non-literal uses of indexicals and argue that they cannot be explained away on the grounds that they involve conversational implicature or pretense.
Keywords Indexicality  Pure indexicals  Automatic indexicals  Demonstratives  Discretionary indexicals  Speaker intentions  Context-sensitivity
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    Kent Bach (2005). Context Ex Machina. In Zoltán Gendler Szabó (ed.), Semantics Versus Pragmatics. Oxford University Press. 15--44.
    David Kaplan (1970). Dthat. Syntax and Semantics 9:221--43.
    David Kaplani (2013). 6. Demonstratives. In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. 83.

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