The essential contextual
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Standard accounts of self-locating or essentially indexical knowledge and belief (such as that of David Lewis) make it difficult to understand the communication of self-locating information. But even the amnesiacs who populate the examples in the literature on this issue can talk with others about who they are or might be, and a general account of discourse should be able to account for this kind of communicative exchange. This chapter proposes a modification of Lewis's " centered-worlds" representations of self-locating attitudes that provides an account of common ground (the presumed common knowledge of speakers in a conversation) that is general enough to provide a context for the communication of information about who and where we are. The chapter concludes with an analysis, using the framework developed, of a notorious puzzle case that involves indexical communication: Mark Richard's phone booth example.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Linguistics and Philosophy
Assertion: New Philosophical Essays
Oxford University Press
Stalnaker, Robert, "The essential contextual." In Jessica Brown and Herman Cappelen, eds., Assertion: New Philosophical Essays (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011) doi 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573004.003.0006 ©2011 Author(s)
Author's final manuscript