David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 128 (2):257 - 283 (2006)
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
Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.) (1989). Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press, Usa.
Gareth Evans (1982). Varieties of Reference. Oxford University Press.
Stefano Predelli (1998). I Am Not Here Now. Analysis 58 (2):107–115.
Stefano Predelli (2002). Intentions, Indexicals and Communication. Analysis 62 (4):310–316.
Citations of this work BETA
Eliot Michaelson (2014). Shifty Characters. Philosophical Studies 167 (3):519-540.
Christopher Gauker (2008). Zero Tolerance for Pragmatics. Synthese 165 (3):359–371.
Jonathan Cohen & Eliot Michaelson (2013). Indexicality and The Answering Machine Paradox. Philosophy Compass 8 (6):580-592.
Jonas Åkerman (2015). Indexicals and Reference‐Shifting: Towards a Pragmatic Approach. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (3).
Andrew Peet (2016). Testimony and the Epistemic Uncertainty of Interpretation. Philosophical Studies 173 (2):395-416.
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