Is there a problem of the essential indexical?

Abstract

Some time ago, John Perry argued that the content of an indexical belief, that is, a belief expressible with a sentence containing an indexical or demonstrative, cannot be a proposition. I consider several of his arguments for this view, and show that they can be extended to show that belief expressible with other non-indexical expressions such as natural kind terms and proper names presents the very same problem for the traditional picture. I then suggest that if indexical belief has any special status, this is not because it has a special kind of content, but rather because action is impossible if agents do not have indexical belief.

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Cara Spencer
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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