Kinds of Context: A Wittgensteinian Approach to Proper Names and Indexicals
In focusing on indexicals and proper names and on the different ways in which their references are fixed, I illustrate how our linguistic practice rests on context, broadly construed. The following theses are discussed and defended:
• There are two main kinds of information: (i) anchored information, i.e. the information one gathers in using and entertaining indexical expressions and (ii) unanchored information, i.e. the information one may gain in hearing a proper name.
• Indexical expressions differ from proper names; this difference relies on the differing ways in which extra-linguistic context enters the scene.
• The Kaplanian framework in particular, and the framework of direct reference in general, are best understood and appreciated against the background of a Wittgensteinian conception of language.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2004