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Single Idea 21550

[catalogued under 19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 9. Indexical Semantics]

Full Idea

It is of the essence of a scientific account of the world to reduce to a minimum the egocentric element in assertion, but success in this attempt is a matter of degree, and is never complete where empirical matter is concerned.

Gist of Idea

Science reduces indexicals to a minimum, but they can never be eliminated from empirical matters


Bertrand Russell (Mr Strawson on Referring [1957], p.121)

A Reaction

He cites ostensive definitions. The key issue is whether they can be wholly eliminated when we try to be objective. Russell here endorses Perry's claim that they never go away. Personally I just think that (if so) we should try harder.

Book Reference

Russell,Bertrand: 'Essays in Analysis', ed/tr. Lackey,Douglas [George Braziller 1973], p.121