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Revisiting the Essential
  Indexical Cover

Revisiting the Essential Indexical

John Perry

IN THIS BOOK, renowned philosopher John Perry responds to criticisms of his influential writing on "the essential indexical." He begins by explaining the conclusions of his past articles. He then argues that many criticisms are based on confusions about the relation between the issues opacity and cognitive significance, and other basic misunderstandings of his views. While dealing with criticisms, Perry makes a number of points about self-knowledge, the issue that motivated his original papers.

"John Perry's seminal work on the essential indexical is among the most influential contributions to philosophy in the twentieth century. Forty years later, in his charismatic, clear and entertaining prose, Perry looks back at some of his most well known — and, possibly, most misunderstood — claims. He delivers definite arguments against recent critiques of his proposal and, most importantly, further elaborates his views, presenting a convincing and comprehensive account on indexicality in mind and language. If you care about one of the central topics in contemporary philosophy, this is a book you must read, and a book you will not be able to put down."
         - María de Ponte, University of the Basque Country

Recipient of numerous international academic awards, John Perry is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University and the University of California.

January 2020


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 The Basic Claims
  • 3 Opacity and Cognitive Significance
  • 4 Names and Indexicals: New Theories of Reference
  • 5 Names and Indexicals: Frege's Theory of Reference
  • 6 Referential, Nominal, and Indexical Content
  • 7 What About Opacity?
  • 8 Hume and Heimson
  • 9 A Prior Example
  • 10 Kripke
  • 11 Back to Self-Knowledge
  • 12 Lewis's Theory
  • 13 The View From Everywhere
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Index

ISBN (Paperback): 1684000524 (9781684000524)

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