Article/Publication Details

Indexical Expressions (I)

(Original title: Indexické výrazy (I))
Organon F, 2002, vol. 9, No 1, pp. 1-45.
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The goal of this article is a general inspection of indexicals as a specific phenomenon of natural language on the one side, and a consideration of "semantization" of indexicals on the other side. The term "semantization" represents a criterion on the basis of which various approaches to relevant solutions are valuated: if, according to Frege´s view, all language expressions should express their senses, what kind of senses could be expressed in the case of indexicals? First, indexicals are explicated as a specific sort of language expressions. Second, how some contemporary philosophers deal with indexical puzzles is briefly propounded. It takes for granted that a comparison of various philosophers´ approaches makes their pro et contra clear. By that way the article can acquire a parameter of basic synopsis. In certain passages of the text, summaries of the issues dealt with are included. The article is divided into three parts, dividing idexicals into temporal, individual and spatial, and demonstratives. In the first part of this article temporal indexicals, (e. g. "now", "yesterday", "before", "after"), as well as grammatical tensed sentences are put to test. Different approaches of Tichý, Quine, Russell, Reichenbach, and Wittgenstein are interpreted and evaluated from the "semantization" point of view. In the case of temporal indexicals, knowledge of possible referents plays an important part, and ontology of time is approximated in connection with McTaggart´s argument. Pavel Materna´s analysis of "now" is a special subject of brief comment.

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