David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Mind and Language 29 (1):1-25 (2014)
In this article, I argue that in typical cases of singular thought, a thinker stands in an evidential relation to the object of thought suitable for providing knowledge of the object's existence. Furthermore, a thinker may generate representations that purport to refer to particular objects in response to appropriate, though defeasible, evidence of the existence of such an object. I motivate these constraints by considering a number of examples introduced by Robin Jeshion in support of a view she calls ‘cognitivism’ (Jeshion, 2010b). Although I agree with Jeshion that acquaintance is not required for all cases of singular thought, I argue that her account doesn't go far enough in rejecting semantic instrumentalism, the view that we can generate singular thoughts arbitrarily, by manipulating the mechanisms of direct reference
|Keywords||Singular Thought Reference Acquaintance Semantic Instrumentalism Liberalism De Re Belief|
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