Space and sense: The role of location in understanding demonstrative concepts

Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt3):347-354 (2008)
Abstract
My aim in this paper is to critically evaluate John Campbell's (2002) characterization of the sense of demonstrative terms and his account of why an object's location matters in our understanding of perceptually-based demonstrative terms. Campbell thinks that the senses of a demonstrative term are the different ways of consciously attending to an object. I will evaluate Campbell's account of sense by exploring and comparing two scenarios in which the actual location of a seen object is different from its perceived location. I do this in order to motivate the following point: Campbell's characterization of the sense of a demonstrative term turns sense into a psychologistic notion. As a consequence of this, it is difficult to see how sense could underwrite reference. In short, I shall be arguing that Campbell's account of the ways of perceiving an object is simply inadequate as an account of the Fregean notion of sense, according to which the senses of a demonstrative term are the different ways of thinking about an object.
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