(1) I’m Spartacus! [Said by Spartacus] (2) I’m Spartacus! [Said by Antoninus] What Spartacus said was true, and what Antoninus said was not. Yet the two slaves uttered the exact same sentence, so how can this be? Admittedly, the puzzle is not very hard, and its solution is uncontroversial. The first person pronoun “I” is – to use a technical term – context sensitive. When Spartacus uses it, it refers to Spartacus; when Antoninus uses it, it refers to Antoninus. So when Spartacus says “I’m Spartacus”, he expresses the true proposition that he, Spartacus, is Spartacus. And when Antoninus says it, he expresses the false proposition that he, Antoninus, is Spartacus. The sentence “I’m Spartacus” expresses different propositions when used by different people. Another example will help. Contrast these two utterances, made by subjects in a study carried out by experimental epistemologists: (3) This is a zebra. [Said by someone while pointing at a zebra] (4) This is a zebra. [Said by someone while pointing at a cleverly decorated mule].
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