Cognitively contentless significance as semantic content
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Lingua E Stile 33:413-426 (1998)
Some years ago, Howard Wettstein provided an original defense of the New Theory of Reference (NTR), the doctrine that singular terms such as names and indexicals are directly referential terms (DRTs), contributing only their reference to the truth-conditions of the tokened sentence they occur in. Wettstein maintained that in order to be semantically adequate, NTR does not have to account for what he calls Frege’s data on cognitive significance, those puzzling facts about language that prompt one to think that meaning entails more than reference to (real) objects. He later put forward another, apparently paradoxical, thesis, namely that whatever this cognitive significance that explains Frege’s data is, it cannot be reduced to the representations one has in one’s mind. In what follows, however, I will first apply the notion of referential anaphorical transfer to mixed contexts in order to show that a New Theorist has to reject Wettstein’s initial thesis as it stands, although she may endorse a weaker version of it, one that especially tallies with his second thesis. I will further argue that, insofar as rejecting Wettstein’s initial thesis does not force the New Theorist to revert to a representional conception of cognitive significance, in particular one based on the notion of a mental file, the latter thesis is absolutely correct. It is thus fitted to become a cornerstone of the New Theory, whatever form of non-mentalistic interpretation the New Theorist might wish to give to the notion of cognitive significance.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Heimir Geirsson (1996). Partial Propositions and Cognitive Content. Journal of Philosophical Research 21:117-128.
John Perry (1997). Reflexivity, Indexicality and Names. In W. Künne, A. Newen & M. Anduschus (eds.), Direct Reference, Indexicality and Propositional Attitudes. Csli. 3--19.
Matthew Davidson (2000). Direct Reference and Singular Propositions. American Philosophical Quarterly 37 (3):285 - 300.
Robin Jeshion (2009). The Significance of Names. Mind and Language 24 (4):370-403.
Howard Wettstein (1988). Cognitive Significance Without Cognitive Content. Mind 97 (385):1-28.
Howard K. Wettstein (1983). The Semantic Significance of the Referential-Attributive Distinction. Philosophical Studies 44 (2):187--96.
Vojislav Bozickovic (2008). Cognitive Significance and Reflexive Content. Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (5):545-554.
Kent Bach (2007). Reflections on Reference and Reflexivity. In Michael O'Rourke Corey Washington (ed.), Situating Semantics: Essays on the Philosophy of John Perry. 395--424.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads3 ( #297,867 of 1,102,867 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?