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IndexicalismThe Metaphysics of Paradox$
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Hilan Bensusan

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781474480291

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474480291.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Indexicalism: A Paradoxico-Metaphysics

Indexicalism: A Paradoxico-Metaphysics

(p.14) 1 Indexicalism: A Paradoxico-Metaphysics

Hilan Bensusan

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 1 presents indexicalism as idea that the world is ultimately best described in terms of indexical expressions like 'here', 'you', 'now', 'outside', 'same' or 'other'. Substantive descriptions are appropriate to think things through only to the extent that they have an implicit indexicality. Indexical expressions are context-dependent and therefore thoroughly situated. Indexicalism is a paradoxico-metaphysics in the terms defined by Cogburn; it can also be seen as a critique of metaphysics if metaphysics aims at a general, substantive view of how things are and they are such that no substantive description is adequate. Indexicalism draws from elements of Whitehead’s philosophy of the organism – especially the notion of locus standi in the theory of measurement – of Levinas’ account of the asymmetric Other and of Perry and Kaplan’s work on demonstratives and implicit indexicality. An indexicalist image of things has no space for total, third-person views of everything. The postulated absolute is deictic.

Keywords:   Paradoxico-metaphysics, Indexicalism, Emmanuel Levinas, Alfred N. Whitehead, Indexicals, Implicit indexicality, David Kaplan, Jon Cogburn, Situated thought

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