She and herself
In this paper I discuss the attribution of ‘I’-thoughts, i.e., so-called de se attributions. In doing so, I will focus on Castañeda’s notion of quasi-indicators. Following Castañeda, I assume that the quasi-indicator ‘s/he (him/herself)’, ‘s/he*’ for short, is the only mechanism which enables the attributer, in indirect speech, to capture the attributee’s ‘I’-thought, i.e., the thought the latter would express in the first person using ‘I’. The conclusion I’ll reach is that a quasi-indicator is both anaphoric and attributive: quasi-indicators are a kind of attributive anaphor. To reach this conclusion I begin by investigating Castañeda’s claim that quasi-indicators are unanalyzable. I’ll argue that: The quasi-indicator ‘s/he*’ cannot be explained away using another mechanism of reference.In English, ‘s/he*’ goes proxy for ‘s/he (her/himself)’ (where the asterisk of ‘s/he*’ abbreviates ‘her/himself’).‘Her/himself’ can be analyzed as a compound of the pronouns ‘her/him’ and ‘self’, with ‘self’ understood as a relational noun.The quasi-indicator ‘s/he*’ can thus be analyzed as a complex noun phrase, comprising a pronoun (‘s/he’) + a pronoun (her/him’) + a relational noun (‘self’).The pronoun ‘s/he’ can work both as an anaphoric pronoun and as a bound variable. (In “Sue believes that she* loves John”, the quasi-indicator ‘she*’ acts as an anaphoric pronoun, while in “Every woman will tell a man that she* loves him”, the quasi-indicator works as a bound variable. In this paper I concentrate only on quasi-indicators acting as anaphoric pronouns. Henceforth, when I speak about quasi-indicators I mean quasi-indicators qua anaphors.)When the pronoun ‘s/he’ acts as an anaphor, the quasi-indicator’s reference is inherited from the antecedent which is co-referential (and thus co-indexed) with the quasi-indicator. A quasi-indicator always appears in an attitude report and forces a de se reading of the report.The quasi-indicator ‘s/he*’ is both anaphoric and attributive. It is anaphoric in that it inherits its semantic value from an antecedent and attributive for it attributes to the referent of its antecedent an ‘I’-thought. When a quasi-indicator acts as an anaphoric pronoun, it is an attributive anaphor.
|Series||Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy and Psychology|
Corazza, E. (2016). She and herself. In Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy and Psychology. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-21395-8_23