Context dependency in thought [chapter]

François Recanati, Isidora Stojanovic, Neftalí Villanueva
2010 Mouton Series in Pragmatics  
This paper deals first with the idea that the vehicles of our thoughts may be context-sensitive and second with the intimately related question of whether natural language (NL) can be the vehicle of thought (VOT). The thesis will be that of all the varieties of context-dependency that we can distinguish, especially when we focus on NL, the VOT can only be "affected" by automatic or pure indexicality. The way to proceed is: first, I will try to distinguish several varieties of context-dependency
more » ... context-dependency that impinge on NL utterances. Then I will argue that the VOT must be explicit in a way that NL expressions, because of all these context-dependencies, cannot. This means that, given that the VOT must carry full propositions, NL cannot be the vehicle of thought. In the final two sections, I will move to consider two main objections to the thesis advanced. The first is that the VOT might be as context-sensitive as NL is, provided we can identify thoughtcontents with relativized propositions. The second objection comes from the alleged existence of unarticulated constituents in thought.
doi:10.1515/9783110227772.1.69 fatcat:5jij5f6fybgfvm5t4xehv4qpj4