more from Thomas Mautner

Single Idea 6899

[catalogued under 19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 9. Indexical Semantics]

Full Idea

Indexicals are expressions whose references depend on the circumstances of utterance, such as 'here', 'now', 'last month' 'I', 'you'. It was introduced by Peirce; Reichenbach called them 'token-reflexive', Russell 'ego-centric particulars'.

Gist of Idea

The references of indexicals ('there', 'now', 'I') depend on the circumstances of utterance


Thomas Mautner (Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy [1996], p.272)

Book Reference

Mautner,Thomas: 'Dictionary of Philosophy' [Penguin 1997], p.272

A Reaction

Peirce's terminology seems best. They obviously create great problems for any theory of reference which is rather theoretical and linguistic, such as by the use of descriptions. You can't understand 'Look at that!' without practical awareness.