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The Indexical Character of Names

M. Pelczar and J. Rainsbury
Synthese
Vol. 114, No. 2 (Feb., 1998), pp. 293-317
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20118023
Page Count: 25
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The Indexical Character of Names
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Abstract

Indexicals are unique among expressions in that they depend for their literal content upon extra-semantic features of the contexts in which they are uttered. Taking this peculiarity of indexicals into account yields solutions to variants of Frege's Puzzle involving objects of attitude-bearing of an indexical nature. If names are indexicals, then the classical versions of Frege's Puzzle can be solved in the same way. Taking names to be indexicals also yields solutions to tougher, more recently-discovered puzzles such as Kripke's well-known case involving Paderewski. We argue that names are in fact rigidly designating indexicals. We also argue that fully developed, the direct reference theory's best strategy for solving the puzzles amounts to the adoption of the indexical theory of names -- a move that we argue should be thought of as a natural development of the direct reference theory, and not as antagonistic to it.

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