Does the truth-conditional theory of sense work for indexicals?

The truth-conditional theory of sense holds that a theory of truth for a natural language can serve as a theory of sense: if knowledge of a theory of truth for a language L is sufficient for understanding utterance of L-sentences, the T-sentences of the theory 'show' the sense of the uttered object-language sentences. In this paper I aim to show that indexicals create a serious problem for this prima facie attractive theoretical option. The so-called 'instantiation problem' is that a truth-theory for indexical languages needs to contain universal statements that show how the reference of indexicals depends on features of the utterance context. Now one can deduce from such statements T-sentences that do not show the sense of an indexical sentence on an occasion of use. I survey proposed solutions to the instantiation problem by Evans and Sainsbury and, unfortunately, find them all wanting. Perhaps there is nothing like the sense-giving truth-condition for an indexical sentence
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Reprint years 2010
DOI 10.1080/080662001753275936
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John Perry (1977). Frege on Demonstratives. Philosophical Review 86 (4):474-497.

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