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I: The Meaning of the First Person Term
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I: The Meaning of the First Person Term

Maximilian de Gaynesford


The central claim of this book is that I is a deictic term, like the other singular personal pronouns You and He/She. This is true of the logical character, inferential role, referential function, expressive use, and communicative role of all and only expressions used to formulate first-personal reference in any language. The first part of the book shows why the standard account of I as a ‘pure indexical’ (‘purism’) should be rejected. Purism requires three mutually supportive doctrines which turn out to be myths: a) that a simple rule is sufficient to give the meaning of I (‘rule theory’); b) ... More

Keywords: first person, deictic term, reference, logical character, inferential role, expression, communication, determinacy, discriminability, guarantee

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780199287826
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006 DOI:10.1093/0199287821.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Maximilian de Gaynesford, author
College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia
Author Webpage