1st Edition

The Indexical Point of View On Cognitive Significance and Cognitive Dynamics

By Vojislav Bozickovic Copyright 2021
    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.


    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

    9. Conclusion


    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.

    "Bozickovic’s book is not only a clinic in the application of “close reading” scholarship to analytic philosophy, it is the most complete survey of the literature that I am aware of, and it offers a fresh, well-argued, perspective that deserves to be addressed by the profession."

    Peter Ludlow

    "Bozickovic’s The Indexical Point of View is a rich and well-argued book in which he raises many interesting questions regarding indexical reference."

    Eros CorazzaCarleton University, Canada