Nov, 2017 22

EXRE Colloquium: Two Problems of the Essential Indexical – Gregory Bochner (Université libre de Bruxelles)

Miloud Belkoniene Time: 17:15 - 19:00

Both Perry (1979) and Lewis (1979) had introduced the problem of the essential indexical (PEI) as a problem that de se attitudes in particular would raise for the doctrine propositions (DOP), which analyses attitudes like beliefs as two-place relations between a subject and a proposition. But recently, a growing number of sceptics have challenged the claim that there is a PEI (Millikan 1990, Cappelen & Dever 2013, Devitt 2013, Magidor 2015), arguing that the phenomenon highlighted does not specifically arise for de se attitudes. I present an intermediate position about the scope of the PEI, according to which two problems were conflated: (P1) the one threatening the DOP, which opposes nonindexical (de dicto) and indexical (de se and de re) attitudes; and (P2) a different problem, internal to the class of indexical (de re) attitudes and so unrelated to the DOP, opposing de se and other de re attitudes. I then sketch a theory encompassing solutions to P1 and P2. This involves centred world contents and the thesis that indexical attitudes are three-place relations between a subject, a property, and a particular index of evaluation which the attitude targets.