<b>Questions of Expression</b>

Maximilian de Gaynesford

in I: The Meaning of the First Person Term

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780199287826
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603570 | DOI:
 Questions of Expression

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‘Independence’, or the claim that one can use I to express thoughts without having to identify what is being referred to, is a myth. It depends on a two-step argument from explanation: that it would make no sense to ask certain questions, and that we must appeal to ‘independence’ to explain this phenomenon. But other explanations are available, such as a pragmatic account. Alternatives are preferable since ‘independence’ not only threatens the referential character of I, its use to express thoughts about particular objects, and its communicative role, but also undermines a plausible account of the links between I-use and empirical identity criteria.

Keywords: independence; identification; expression; nonsense; pragmatic; Wittgenstein; Strawson; Evans

Chapter.  9154 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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