OJPP> Vol.4 No.2, May 2014
Views: 258    Downloads: 257

Indexicals in Virtual Environments

DownloadDownload as PDF (Size:249KB) Full-Text HTML PP. 134-140   DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2014.42018


In this paper I explored three well-known cases that seem to cast doubt on the notion that a speaker is always at the place of the utterance when the utterance occurs. I gave a few examples produced in Second Life environment, which cannot be handled correctly by evaluating the expression at issue with respect to the traditional view, i.e., the kaplanian framework—where the agent and the utterer will always be identical, and the referent of “I” will always be the utterer. The same happens to “here” and “now”; in each case the character of the indexical is a function from a contextual parameter to the referent of the expression. An example of logical truth peculiar to indexicals is the sentence “I am here now”, since, according to that view, no utterance can take place in a context whose agent is not in its location in its time. Finally I concluded by claiming that particular kinds of utterances produced in virtual environments (VE) break with the logical truth status of “I am here now”.


Cite this paper

Alonso, B. (2014) Indexicals in Virtual Environments. Open Journal of Philosophy, 4, 134-140. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2014.42018.


[1] Brinck, I. (1997). The Indexical “I”. London: Kluver Academic Publishers, Synthese Library.
[2] Colterjohn, J., & MacIntosh, D. (1987). Gerald Vision and Indexicals. Analysis, 47, 58-60.
[3] Corazza, E., Fish, W., & Gorvett, J. (2002). Who Is I? Philosophical Studies, 107, 1-21.
[4] Dodd, D., & Sweeney, P. (2009). Indexicals and Utterance Production. Philosophical Studies (forthcoming).
[5] Kaplan, D. (1989). Demonstratives. In J. Almog, J. Perry, & H. Wettstein (Eds.), Themes from Kaplan (pp. 481-565). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[6] Ludlow, P. (2009). Virtual Communities, Virtual Cultures, Virtual Governance. In The 2009 Compass Interdisciplinary Vir- tual Conference. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell.
[7] Ondrejka, C. (2007). Second Life: Collapsing Geography. Innovations, 2, 27-54.
[8] Perry, J. (1997). Indexicals and Demonstratives. In R. Hale, & C. Wright (Eds.), Companion to the Philosophy of Language (pp. 586-612). Oxford: B. Blackwell.
[9] Perry, J. (2001). Reference and Reflexivity. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.
[10] Perry, J. (2003). Predelli’s Threatening Note: Contexts, Utterances and Token in the Philosophy of Language. Journal of Pragmatics, 35, 373-387.
[11] Predelli, S. (1998a). I am not Here Now. Analysis, 58, 107-115.
[12] Predelli, S. (1998b). Utterance, Interpretation, and the Logic of Indexicals. Mind and Language, 13, 400-414.
[13] Predelli, S. (2005). Contexts. Meaning, Truth, and the Use of Language. New York: Oxford University Press.
[14] Putnam, H. (1973). Meaning and Reference. The Journal of Philosophy, 70, 699-711. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2025079
[15] Romdenh-Romluc, K. (2002). Now the French Are Invading England. Analysis, 62, 34-41.
[16] Sidelle, A. (1991). The Answering Machine Paradox. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 81, 525-539.
[17] Zalta, E. (1988). Logical and Analytic Truths That Are Not Necessary. The Journal of Philosophy, 85, 57-74.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2014 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.