Tomás Barrero, "The essential indexical and the double life of names"
When end where
Seminar on Language and Communication
Institute for Logic, Cognition, Language and Information (ILCLI)
Friday, September 28th, 2018
Venue: Carlos Santamaria Zentroa, Room A2.
The Essential Indexical and the Double Life of Names
Tomás Barrero (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia)
John Perry and David Lewis famously claimed that there is some deep and interesting phenomenon implicit to the use of indexicals. In The Inessential Indexical, Herman Cappelen and Josh Dever beg to differ. On close inspection every alleged example of essential indexicality is for them another run-of-the-mill Fregean case of generic opacity. They argue, moreover, that Perry’s concerns about the Fregean explanation of indexicals are instances of Kripke’s arguments against any descriptive theory of naming. After reviewing their justification for that view, I show that indexical scenarios and cases of opacity are significantly different, though this has no bearing on traditional arguments against descriptive theories of naming. Within a non-Fregean image of reference inspired by Kripke and Kaplan we can produce Paderewski-like examples with names but not with indexicals, so the view that indexicals and attitudes interact in a special way can be vindicated.