The Meaning of ‘Actually’

Dialectica 64 (2):153-185 (2010)
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Abstract

The paper is an investigation into the concept of actuality from the standpoint of the philosophy of language. It is argued that expressions such as ‘actually’ and ‘in fact’ are not indexicals like ‘here’ and ‘now’; when e.g. ‘Snow is actually white’ is uttered in a world, what proposition is conveyed does not depend on the world. Nor are such expressions ambiguous. The paper makes a suggestion about the role that ‘actually’ and its cognates do play. It is also argued that the sentence ⌜Actually S⌝ expresses a necessary truth only if S itself expresses one. In order to capture the necessitation of the proposition expressed in ⌜Actually S⌝, it is not sufficient to prefix the word ‘necessarily’.

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References found in this work

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
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Anselm and actuality.David K. Lewis - 1970 - Noûs 4 (2):175-188.

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