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AuthorPérez Navarro, Eduardo
Predicates of personal tasteRelativismIndexical relativismFaultless disagreementRetraction
Pérez-Navarro, E. Indexical Relativism?. Philosophia (2021). [https://doi.org/10.1007/s11406-021-00441-4]
SponsorshipUniversidad de Granada/CBUA; Spanish Ministry of Universities FPU14/00485; Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation under the research project "Contemporary Expressivisms and the Indispensability of Normative Vocabulary: Scope and Limits of the Expressivist Hypothesis" PID2019-109764RB-I00; Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation under the research project "Disagreement in Attitudes: Normativity, Affective Polarization and Disagreement" PID2019-109764RB-I00; Regional Government of Andalusia under the research project "Public Disagreements, Affective Polarization and Immigration in Andalusia" P18-FR-2907; Regional Government of Andalusia under the research project "The Inferential Identification of Propositions: A Reconsideration of Classical Dichotomies in Metaphysics, Semantics and Pragmatics" P18-FR-2907; University of Granada UCE.PPP2017.04
The particular behavior exhibited by sentences featuring predicates of personal taste such as "tasty" may drive us to claim that their truth depends on the context of assessment, as MacFarlane does. MacFarlane considers two ways in which the truth of a sentence can depend on the context of assessment. On the one hand, we can say that the sentence expresses a proposition whose truth-value depends on the context of assessment. This is MacFarlane's position, which he calls "truth relativism" and, following Weatherson, I rebrand as "nonindexical relativism". On the other hand, we can say that what proposition a sentence expresses depends on the context of assessment. MacFarlane calls this position "content relativism" and rejects it on the grounds that it leads to implausible readings of certain sentences and is unable to account for the speaker's authority over the content of her assertions. In this paper, I too argue against content relativism, which, again following Weatherson, I rebrand as "indexical relativism". However, my arguments against the theory are different from MacFarlane's, which I prove unsound. In particular, I show that any version of indexical relativism will be unable to account for at least one of the phenomena that have been standardly used to motivate nonindexical relativism-faultless disagreement and retraction-in most of the ways in which it has been proposed to understand them.