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A conjecture on deferralist indexicalism

Imagine we do take propositions to be formed by (essential) indexicals. That is, sentences could have indexicals and non-indexicals (substantive) but:

i. only indexicals directly refer - ouch, hard thing to state, but I'm conjecturing that substantive refer only through indexical definitions (the translation of a de dicto expression into a de re one is a step towards providing indexical definitions but cannot be the whole translation for, as Perry wrote (in The problem of the essential indexical, henceforth PEI): "De re propositions remain non- indexical. Propositions individuated in part by objects remain as insensitive to what is essential in locating beliefs as those individuated wholly by concepts." A complete translation of substantives to indexical descriptions would look like this: a proper name is replaced a rule for pointing (Hegel becomes "that philosopher who believed things abbreviate concepts" and then "philosopher" becomes "those that do that and that" etc.), substantives are replaced by a de re description at first, bearing in mind with Perry that "de dicto belief, already demoted from its central place in the philosophy of belief, might be seen as merely an illusion, engendered by the implicit nature of much indexicality. only indexicals compose propositions" (PEI), and then by indexical descriptions of the de re relations ("hot" becomes something like "hotter than average", "snow" becomes something like "that thing that appears in the surface in cold times" and "blue" becomes something like "the color of this and that").

11. only indexicals are in the propositions. "I am here now" would mean the proposition (CONTEXT, I, here, now). Propositions are then of the form {CONTEXT, Indexical(1), ..., Indexical(n)}. In the formula of Kaplan (in Demonstratives): we would have Character: Contexts → Contents and Content: Circumstances → Extensions . Then contents (extensions) are indexicals and characters are defined as propositions. A character results from indexical definitions of non-indexical expressions. CONTEXT here would be something to be pointed at, a demonstration and not a definite description.

Deferralism would then vindicated because propositions are relativized to contexts and there would be no non-indexical item. Propositions are not thoughts but rather how things are in a situation. Further, when we move from contexts of enunciation to contexts of evaluation, the proposition would no longer be the same.

Does that make any sense?


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