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Indexicals in Fiction

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Special Issue: Varieties of Context-Sensitivity in a Pluri-Propositionalist Reflexive Semantic Framework


Both the semantics of fictional discourse and the semantics of indexicality are canonical topics in the philosophy of language, on which there exists well-known significant literature. However, the same cannot be said for the terrain where they overlap. That is, the distinctive issues raised by fictive uses of indexicals and demonstratives have not been extensively studied per se. The aim of the present essay is to shed some light on this terrain, and to advance our understanding of some of these issues. As it happens, accounting for indexicals in fiction requires the use of innovative new tools. In particular, the standard, familiar taxonomy of types / tokens / utterances is not sufficient to account for the complex cognitive significance and truth-conditions, unique to these kinds of case. For instance: it is widely recognized that, with indexicals generally, semantic properties attach to utterances, not to types or to tokens. But in fiction there are no utterances (in the relevant sense). An innovative notion is required, which I call an “indexed token”. This account of indexicals in fiction, based on the notion of an indexed token, is developed within a Perry (2012)-inspired pluri-propositionalist framework. As such, the present essay constitutes an original application of that framework, extending its already impressive reach.

Inglés, Portuguese
Calendario de la edición:
4 veces al año
Temas de la revista:
Philosophy, Selected Philosophical Movements, Analytical Philosophy