, Volume 47, Issue 5, pp 1475–1486 | Cite as

Indexicals and Character Shifting

  • Tarun GidwaniEmail author


According to Character Shifting Theory, the rules determining indexical reference vary according to the communication technology used. These rules are established by conventions arising as solutions to coordination problems. I present two objections against Character Shifting Theory. First, I show that individuating context-types according to technologies makes incorrect truth-value predictions. Secondly, such individuation is not possible, as there are no coordination problems that occur when speakers communicate over these technologies. I then consider four ways by which one can respond against my objections and show that none of them succeed. The failure of Character Shifting Theory has implications on the larger debate about whether a fixed-rule intention-insensitive account of indexical reference can be successful.


Character shifting theory David Kaplan Philosophy of language Indexicals 



I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor Alexander Stewart Davies for his unwavering support, encouragement and patience throughout this project.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia

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