Fiction as a base of interpretation contexts

Synthese 153 (1):23--47 (2006)
Abstract
In this paper, I want to deal with the problem of how to find an adequate context of interpretation for indexical sentences that enables one to account for the intuitive truth-conditional content which some apparently puzzling indexical sentences like “I am not here now” as well as other such sentences contextually have. In this respect, I will pursue a fictionalist line. This line allows for shifts in interpretation contexts and urges that such shifts are governed by pretense, which has to be understood in terms of socially shared make-believe games. By appealing to pretense so conceived, I will show that the fictionalist perspective is halfway between an intentionalist perspective, according to which the above indexical sentences have to be interpreted in a shifted intended context, (this perspective is primarily defined by Predelli 1998, Analysis 58, 107; Mind and Language 13, 400) and a conventionalist perspective, according to which indexical reference shifts in accordance with a conventional setting. (For this perspective, cf. Corazza et al. 2002, Philosophical Studies 107, See also Corazza 2004, Reflecting the Mind: Indexicality and Quasi-Indexicality, Oxford University Press). Finally, I will claim that the fictionalist analysis of cases of non-ordinary uses of indexicals like “here” and “now” can be retained in face of a new alternative analysis of those cases in terms of an ‘unbound anaphora’ – theory (cf. Corazza 2004, Synthese 138, 145).
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Graham Stevens (2009). Utterance at a Distance. Philosophical Studies 143 (2):213 - 221.

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