I

Philosophical Studies 128 (2):257 - 283 (2006)
Abstract
It has traditionally been maintained that every token of ‘I’ refers to its utterer. However, certain uses of indexicals conflict with this claim, and its counterparts with respect to ‘here’ and ‘now’, suggesting that the traditional account of indexical reference should be abandoned. In this paper, I examine some proposed alternatives and the difficulties they face, before offering a new account of indexical reference. I endorse Kaplan’s view that the reference of an indexical is determined on any occasion it is used by applying its character to a particular context, arguing that the problem cases show that this is not always the context of utterance. The task facing the semantic theorist is thus to explain what fixes the reference-determining context. I consider and reject both Predelli’s suggestion that the reference-determining context is the one intended by the utterer, and Corazza et al.’s proposal that the relevant context is fixed by conventions delivered by the utterance setting. The discussion of these two accounts reveals that an adequate theory of indexical reference should allow the speaker to use indexicals in novel ways, whilst holding that what a speaker can refer to with an indexical utterance is constrained by what an audience can understand. I develop an account based around these two requirements.
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References found in this work BETA
Kent Bach (1992). Paving the Road to Reference. Philosophical Studies 67 (3):295--300.

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Citations of this work BETA
Jonas Åkerman (2010). Communication and Indexical Reference. Philosophical Studies 149 (3):355 - 366.

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