The Grice Club


The Grice Club

The club for all those whose members have no (other) club.

Is Grice the greatest philosopher that ever lived?

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Thursday, February 15, 2018



Uncontroversially, the meaning of first and second person pronouns and “imposters”, i.e. expressions like yours truly, should be indexical, but how exactly this indexicality is achieved has been a matter of some debate. While not settling the debate, this paper aims to show that there is no single way to become a person indexical. Natural language allows for at least three different representations leading to person indexicality. 

Evidence for this comes from sentences involving imposters and pronouns coreferent with or bound by them. Particularly telling are cases of variation between third and non-third person pronouns in sentences with imposters, first discussed by Collins and Postal. Constraints on this variation support the view that it is not adequate from either an empirical or an explanatory perspective to treat all person indexicals uniformly.

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