This book argues that there is a common cognitive mechanism underlying all indexical thoughts, in spite of their seeming diversity.
Indexical thoughts are mental representations, such as beliefs and desires. They represent items from a thinker's point of view or her cognitive perspective. We typically express them by means of sentences containing linguistic expressions such as 'this (F)' or 'that (F)', adverbs like 'here', 'now', and 'today', and the personal pronoun ‘I’. While generally agreeing that representing the world from a thinker's cognitive perspective is a key feature of indexical thoughts, philosophers disagree as to whether a thinker's cognitive perspective can be captured and rationalized by semantic content and, if so, what kind of content this is. This book surveys competing views and then advances its own positive account. Ultimately, it argues that a thinker's cognitive perspective - or her indexical point of view - is to be explained in terms of the content that is believed and asserted as the only kind of content that there is which thereby serves as the bearer of cognitive significance.
The Indexical Point of View will be of interest to philosophers of mind and language, linguists, and cognitive scientists.
Table of Contents
1. Character, Content, and Cognitive Significance
2. Other Kinds of Content and Cognitive Significance
3. Anti-Individualism and Cognitive Perspective
4. Cognitive Dynamics, Belief Retention, and Cognitive Significance
5. Beliefs and Characters
6. Slicing Thoughts
7. How Many Modes of Presentation Do We Need?
8. Tracking and Reporting
Vojislav Bozickovic is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. Previously he was lecturer at Macquarie University and the University of Tasmania. His published work has appeared in American Philosophical Quarterly, Erkenntnis, Linguistics and Philosophy, Philosophical Psychology, and Synthese.