Minimizing indexicality

Philosophical Studies 168 (1):1-20 (2014)
I critically examine Cappelen and Lepore’s definition of and tests for indexicality, and refine them to improve their adequacy. Indexicals cannot be defined as expressions with different referents in different contexts unless linguistic meaning and circumstances of evaluation are held constant. I show that despite Cappelen and Lepore’s claim that there are only a handful of indexical expressions, their “basic set” includes a number of large and open classes, and generates an infinity of indexical phrases. And while the tests can be used effectively to combat contextualism concerning ‘knows’ and ‘actual,’ many expressions not in their basic set test positive for indexicality, including quantifier nouns, weather reports, and comparative adjectives. I rebut their claim that context-shifting arguments inevitably lead to radical contextualism, and that if there were any indexicals beyond their basic set, communication would be impossible
Keywords Indexicality  Context-sensitivity  Meaning  Intension  Context of use  Circumstance of evaluation  ‘Know’  Communication  Cappelen and Lepore  Contextualism  Minimalism
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0191-x
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References found in this work BETA

Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press, Usa.
Studies in the Way of Words.H. Paul Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Literal Meaning.François Recanati - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.

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