Unformatted text preview: w” in terms of “the time at which this token is uttered”, “this table” in terms of “the table pointed by a gesture accompanying this token”, etc. 16 The contentcharacter distinction
Indexicals and referents; sentences and singular propositions
The character of an indexical is its linguistic meaning while the content is the referent picked out in a given occasion of use. 17 The content of a sentence is the (singular) proposition expressed. The latter contains the object(s) referred to and the property(ies) expressed by the linguistic elements of the sentence. Singular propositions are structured entities reflecting the structure of the sentence expressing them.
It can be represented by a function from context to content, i.e. the character qua meaning takes as argument the context of utterance and gives as value the content Contextual parameters
agent, time, place, possible world. They are technical notions. As we’ll see the agent may not be, pace Kaplan (1977), the speaker (e.g.: answering machines).
19 Pure indexicals vs. demonstratives The meaning of a demonstrative (“this”, “that”, ...), unlike the character of a pure indexical (“I”, “now”, “today”, “here”, …), is incomplete and must be completed b...
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