Reflexivity, Indexicality and Names

In W. Künne, A. Newen & M. Anduschus (eds.), Direct Reference, Indexicality and Propositional Attitudes. CSLI Publications. pp. 3--19 (1997)
Authors
John Perry
University of California, Riverside
Abstract
It has been persuasively argued by David Kaplan and others that the proposition expressed by statements like (1) is a singular proposition, true in just those worlds in which a certain person, David Israel, is a computer scientist. Call this proposition P . The truth of this proposition does not require that the utterance (1) occur, or even that Israel has ever said anything at all. Marcus, Donnellan, Kripke and others have persuasively argued for a view of proper names that, put in Kaplan’s terms and applied to this example, implies that the proposition expressed by (2) is also simply P .1 The thesis that expressions of a certain category (names, indexicals, demonstratives, pronouns, descriptions, etc.) are referential 2holds that these expressions contribute the object to which they refer, rather than a mode of presentation of that object, to the propositions expressed by statements containing them. The thesis that indexicals and names are referential creates the challenge of explaining the difference in cognitive significance between statements like (1) and (2), that express the same proposition[Wettstein, 1986]. The problem has two parts, which..
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