Friday, January 29, 2016

You are happy

When I utter ‘I am happy’ to myself while alone and having been silent for some while, do I mean that the content of my statement could have been communicated to another person, even though it wasn’t? So that I could inform you (by ‘I’) which entity satisfies ‘— is happy’?

Or do I mean I have privileged access to the referent of ‘I’ in a way that could not be communicated, i.e. so that what I mean to refer to is different from the entity you grasp as *Edward* being happy? In this sense, it would be inconceivable that anyone else could grasp what the referent really was. Only I can grasp the identity. And I don’t mean that as a matter of fact. I mean it’s logically impossible.

What does this mean for numerical identity? Is the referent of ‘you are happy’, uttered by me to you, numerically different from the referent of ‘I am happy’, uttered by you to yourself?

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