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Abstract

Abstract

The debate over the meanings of indexical expressions has relied heavily on the method of counterexamples. This paper challenges that method by showing that purported counterexamples can often be explained away by appeal to . For these counterexamples to establish anything about indexical reference, we must identify the conditions under which theorists can legitimately appeal to perspective shifts. Some tests for semantic content are considered and it is argued that none of them can tell us when appeal to perspective shift is admissible. The paper then considers how we should proceed if we become convinced that there is no way to identify the content of indexical expressions, offering reasons in favour of a nihilist conception of character over an epistemicist or pluralist conception.

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2022-02-24
2022-05-20
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: character ; pluralism ; context ; nihilism ; content ; epistemicism
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