Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Index words: index words are words like “here”, “there”, “now”, “me”, etc. which require a closer determination, so that a sentence which includes them can be determined whether it is true or false. A sentence with index words is therefore context-dependent. Index words are not demonstratives. See also deixis, anaphora, context dependency, indexicality.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 161
Index/Index word/Adaptor/Millikan: unlike other words, the adaptor for an index word is not simply another part of the sentence. It can lie outside the sentence. ((s) pointing, anaphora, etc.).
Adaptive Eigenfunction/Millikan: E.g. Chameleon: the color-producing units are adapted eigenfunctions.
I 162
Index/Index word/Millikan: E.g. Suppose a chameleon is suspended in the air and has no background on which to align its color pattern. Then there is no adapted eigenfunction.
Sentence: every element of a sentence has a relational eigenfunction. Only with it, it is completely described as a sentence part. Individual words do not have an adapted eigenfunction.
Index word: has two relations: a) to something within the sentence - b) in addition to something outside.
"I"/Millikan: is translated by me into an "inner name".
"He"/Millikan: if "he" has no antecedent ((s) no anaphora), then it has no adapted eigenfunction. But it has a relational eigenfunction:
Relational Eigenfunction/Index word/Millikan: is the function to be translated into an inner name that has the same referent as the antecedent.
E.g. chameleon: here the normal condition for the image must have two components:
1. There must be a background (existence, existence condition).
2. The color pattern must be more or less the same. (Mapping condition).
I 164
Adaptor/index/index word/Millikan: if an index does not have an adaptor, it lacks the full meaning, not truth.
I 165
There/Index word/Millikan: presupposes "this": "in this place".
This/index words/Millikan: "this" is usually conventional, passed on from speaker to speaker.
There may also be "improvised" methods of application. These are not conventional. Improvised techniques can be repeated without leading to reproductively determined families.
I 166
Of course: there can be "natural" methods, these are also not conventional: e.g. gestures.
"This": (other than "I" and "You") must be added, by specifying the nature of the object. "This" seems to be a special kind of a free variable.
Referent/this/Millikan: the referent is largely determined by the rest of the sentence in which "this" occurs.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Millk I
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-06-25