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Nonindexical Contextualism

John MacFarlane
Synthese
Vol. 166, No. 2 (Jan., 2009), pp. 231-250
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40271141
Page Count: 20
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Nonindexical Contextualism
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Abstract

Philosophers on all sides of the contextualism debates have had an overly narrow conception of what semantic context sensitivity could be. They have conflated context sensitivity (dependence of truth or extension on features of context) with indexicality (dependence of content on features of context). As a result of this conflation, proponents of contextualism have taken arguments that establish only context sensitivity to establish indexicality, while opponents of contextualism have taken arguments against indexicality to be arguments against context sensitivity. Once these concepts are carefully pulled apart, it becomes clear that there is conceptual space in semantic theory for nonindexical forms of contextualism that have many advantages over the usual indexical forms.

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