Nonindexical contextualism

Synthese 166 (2):231-250 (2009)
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Abstract

Philosophers on all sides of the contextualism debates have had an overly narrow conception of what semantic context sensitivity could be. They have conflated context sensitivity (dependence of truth or extension on features of context) with indexicality (dependence of content on features of context). As a result of this conflation, proponents of contextualism have taken arguments that establish only context sensitivity to establish indexicality, while opponents of contextualism have taken arguments against indexicality to be arguments against context sensitivity. Once these concepts are carefully pulled apart, it becomes clear that there is conceptual space in semantic theory for nonindexical forms of contextualism that have many advantages over the usual indexical forms.

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John MacFarlane
University of California, Berkeley

Citations of this work

Four Kinds of Perspectival Truth.Michela Massimi - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (2):342-359.
Dynamics of Epistemic Modality.Malte Willer - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (1):45-92.

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References found in this work

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Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Solving the Skeptical Problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.

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