, Volume 159, Issue 1, pp 147-153
Date: 06 Feb 2011

What does it take to enter into the circumstance?

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In the recent literature on contextualism and relativism, one often finds disputes as to which kind of consideration would be relevant for positing a feature of a context as a parameter in the “circumstance of evaluation.”

Some, such as Jason Stanley, insist that this can only be via the presence of an operator in the language which shifts that feature:

[T]he difference between elements of the circumstance of evaluation and elements of the context of use is precisely that it is elements of the former that are shiftable by sentence operators. So the position that judges are elements of circumstances of evaluation but cannot be shifted by any sentence operators in the language is an untenable position in the philosophy of language (Stanley 2005, p. 150).

Others, such as John MacFarlane, consider this to be an unmotivated restriction, and argue that one alternative way to enter into the “circumstance” is by being a feature of a context with respect to which the truth of “propositions” expres ...