Indexicals in Virtual Environments

Open Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):134-140 (2014)

Authors
Bernardo Alonso
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Abstract
In this paper I explored three well-known cases that seem to cast doubt on the notion that a speaker is always at the place of the utterance when the utterance occurs. I gave a few examples produced in Second Life environment, which cannot be handled correctly by evaluating the expression at issue with respect to the traditional view, i.e., the kaplanian framework—where the agent and the utterer will always be identical, and the referent of “I” will always be the utterer. The same happens to “here” and “now”; in each case the character of the indexical is a function from a contextual parameter to the referent of the expression. An example of logical truth peculiar to indexicals is the sentence “I am here now”, since, according to that view, no utterance can take place in a context whose agent is not in its location in its time. Finally I concluded by claiming that particular kinds of utterances produced in virtual environments (VE) break with the logical truth status of “I am here now”.
Keywords indexicals  context  utterance
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DOI 10.4236/ojpp.2014.42018
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References found in this work BETA

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
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Meaning and Reference.Hilary Putnam - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):699-711.
Reference and Reflexivity.John Perry - 2003 - Mind 112 (445):171-175.

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