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Thought and Reference

Oxford, England: Oxford University Press (1987)

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  1. Mental Files.François Recanati - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    Over the past fifty years the philosophy of language and mind has been dominated by a nondescriptivist approach to content and reference. This book attempts to recast and systematize that approach by offering an indexical model in terms of mental files. According to Recanati, we refer through mental files, the function of which is to store information derived through certain types of contextual relation the subject bears to objects in his or her environment. The reference of a file is determined (...)
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  • Applying Pragmatics to Epistemology.Kent Bach - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):68-88.
    This paper offers a smattering of applications of pragmatics to epistemology. In most cases they concern recent epistemological claims that depend for their plausibility on mistaking something pragmatic for something semantic. After giving my formulation of the semantic/pragmatic distinction and explaining how seemingly semantic intuitions can be responsive to pragmatic factors, I take up the following topics: 1. Classic Examples of Confusing Meaning and Use 2. Pragmatic Implications of Hedging or Intensifying an Assertion 3. Belief Attributions 4. Knowledge-wh 5. The (...)
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  • The Metaphysical Burden of Millianism.Nikhil Mahant - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-19.
    The Millian semantic view of names relies on a metaphysical view of names—often given the label ‘common currency conception’ —on which the names of distinct individuals count as distinct names. While even defenders of the Millian view admit that the CCC ‘does not agree with the most common usage’, I will argue further that the CCC makes names exceptional amongst the class of linguistic expressions: if the CCC is correct, then names must have a sui-generis metaphysical nature, distinct from the (...)
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  • A Gricean Theory of Malaprops.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (4):446-462.
    Gricean intentionalists hold that what a speaker says and means by a linguistic utterance is determined by the speaker's communicative intention. On this view, one cannot really say anything without meaning it as well. Conventionalists argue, however, that malapropisms provide powerful counterexamples to this claim. I present two arguments against the conventionalist and sketch a new Gricean theory of speech errors, called the misarticulation theory. On this view, malapropisms are understood as a special case of mispronunciation. I argue that the (...)
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  • Lexical Individuation and Predicativism About Names.Aidan Gray - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):113-123.
    Predicativism about names—the view that names are metalinguistic predicates—has yet to confront a foundational issue: how are names represented in the lexicon? I provide a positive characterization of the structure of the lexicon from the point of view Predicativism. I proceed to raise a problem for Predicativism on the basis of that characterization, focusing on cases in which individuals have names which are spelled the same way but pronounced differently. Finally, I introduce two potential strategies for solving the problem, and (...)
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  • On What is Effable.Delia Belleri - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):341-349.
    The Effability thesis has it that all propositions can be encoded by a sentence. By contrast, the Ineffability thesis has it that no proposition can be encoded by a sentence. In this article, I undermine an important motivation for the Ineffability thesis and advance a proposal concerning what is effable and what is not. My strategy will be as follows: First, I'll note that the Ineffability thesis assumes that propositions/thoughts are determinate. I'll point out that propositions/thoughts qua the things we (...)
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  • A Description Theory of Singular Reference.Francesco Orilia - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (1):7–40.
    According to the received view, descriptivism is a dead end in an attempt to account for singular reference by proper names, indexicals and possibly even incomplete descriptions, for they require referentialism. In contrast to this, I argue for an application of the former to all kinds of singular terms, indexicals in particular, by relying on a view of incomplete descriptions as elliptical in a pragmatic sense. I thus provide a general analysis of singular reference. The proposed approach is in line (...)
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  • Ways of Using Words: On Semantic Intentions.Emanuel Viebahn - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):93-117.
    Intentionalism is the view that demonstratives, gradable adjectives, quantifiers, modals and other context‐sensitive expressions are intention‐sensitive: their semantic value on a given use is fixed by speaker intentions. The first aim of this paper is to defend Intentionalism against three recent objections, according to which speakers at least sometimes do not have suitable intentions when using supposedly intention‐sensitive expressions. Its second aim is to thereby shed light on the so far little‐explored question of which kinds of intentions can be semantically (...)
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  • The Semantics of Rigid Designation.John Justice - 2003 - Ratio 16 (1):33–48.
    Frege's thesis that each singular term has a sense that determines its reference and serves as its cognitive value has come to be widely doubted. Saul Kripke argued that since names are rigid designators, their referents are not determined by senses. David Kaplan has argued that the rigid designation of indexical terms entails that they also lack referent–determining senses. Kripke's argument about names and Kaplan's argument about indexical terms differ, but each contains a false premise. The referents of both names (...)
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  • De Re And De Dicto: Against The Conventional Wisdom.Ken Taylor - 2002 - Noûs 36 (s16):225-265.
    Conventional wisdom has it that there is a class of attitude ascriptions such that in making an ascription of that sort, the ascriber undertakes a commitment to specify the contents of the ascribee’s head in what might be called a notionally sensitive, ascribee-centered way. In making such an ascription, the ascriber is supposed to undertake a commitment to specify the modes of presentation, concepts or notions under which the ascribee cognizes the objects (and properties) that her beliefs are about. Consequently, (...)
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  • Propositional Attitude Reports.Thomas McKay - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Descriptions.Peter Ludlow - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Singular Propositions.Greg Fitch - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Descriptions.P. Elbourne - 2007 - In Thaddeus Metz (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
     
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  • Implicature.Wayne Davis - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Narrow Mental Content.Curtis Brown - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Narrow mental content is a kind of mental content that does not depend on an individual's environment. Narrow content contrasts with “broad” or “wide” content, which depends on features of the individual's environment as well as on features of the individual. It is controversial whether there is any such thing as narrow content. Assuming that there is, it is also controversial what sort of content it is, what its relation to ordinary or “broad” content is, and how it is determined (...)
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  • Critique of Impure Reason: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning.Steven James Bartlett - 2021 - Salem, USA: Studies in Theory and Behavior.
    This is a second Philpapers record for this book which links only to HAL's downloadable copies of the work. Please refer to the main Philpapers entry for this book which can be found by searching under the book's title. ●●●●● PLEASE NOTE: This is the corrected 2nd eBook edition, 2021. ●●●●● _Critique of Impure Reason_ has now also been published in a printed edition. To reduce the otherwise high price of this scholarly, technical book of nearly 900 pages and make (...)
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  • CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning.Steven James Bartlett - 2021 - Salem, USA: Studies in Theory and Behavior.
    PLEASE NOTE: This is the corrected 2nd eBook edition, 2021. ●●●●● _Critique of Impure Reason_ has now also been published in a printed edition. To reduce the otherwise high price of this scholarly, technical book of nearly 900 pages and make it more widely available beyond university libraries to individual readers, the non-profit publisher and the author have agreed to issue the printed edition at cost. ●●●●● The printed edition was released on September 1, 2021 and is now available through (...)
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  • Communication and Content.Prashant Parikh - 2019 - Berlin, Germany: Language Science Press.
    Communication and content presents a comprehensive and foundational account of meaning based on new versions of situation theory and game theory. The literal and implied meanings of an utterance are derived from first principles assuming little more than the partial rationality of interacting agents. New analyses of a number of diverse phenomena – a wide notion of ambiguity and content encompassing phonetics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and beyond, vagueness, convention and conventional meaning, indeterminacy, universality, the role of truth in communication, semantic (...)
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  • Literal Meaning & Cognitive Content.John-Michael Kuczynski - 2015 - Madison, WI, USA: Freud Institute.
    In this work, it is shown that given a correct understanding of the nature of reference and of linguistic meaning generally, it is possible to produce non-revisionist analyses of the nature of -/- *Perceptual content, *Mental content generally, *Logical equivalence, *Logical dependence generally, *Counterfactual truth, *The causal efficacy of mental states, and *Our knowledge of ourselves and of the external world. -/- In addition, set-theoretic interpretations of several semantic concepts are put forth. These concepts include truth, falsehood, negation, and conjunction.
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  • Mathematics and Fiction II: Analogy.Robert Thomas - 2002 - Logique Et Analyse 45:185-228.
    The object of this paper is to study the analogy, drawn both positively and negatively, between mathematics and fiction. The analogy is more subtle and interesting than fictionalism, which was discussed in part I. Because analogy is not common coin among philosophers, this particular analogy has been discussed or mentioned for the most part just in terms of specific similarities that writers have noticed and thought worth mentioning without much attention's being paid to the larger picture. I intend with this (...)
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  • Putnam, Context, and Ontology.Steven Gross - 2004 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (4):507 - 553.
    When a debate seems intractable, with little agreement as to how one might proceed towards a resolution, it is understandable that philosophers should consider whether something might be amiss with the debate itself. Famously in the last century, philosophers of various stripes explored in various ways the possibility that at least certain philosophical debates are in some manner deficient in sense. Such moves are no longer so much in vogue. For one thing, the particular ways they have been made have (...)
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  • Mental Files: An Introduction.Michael Murez & François Recanati - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):265-281.
  • Descriptions as Predicates.Delia Graff Fara - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):59--117.
    One reason to think that names have a predicate-type semantic value is that they naturally occur in count-noun positions: ‘The Michaels in my building both lost their keys’; ‘I know one incredibly sharp Cecil and one that's incredibly dull’. Predicativism is the view that names uniformly occur as predicates. Predicativism flies in the face of the widely accepted view that names in argument position are referential, whether that be Millian Referentialism, direct-reference theories, or even Fregean Descriptivism. But names are predicates (...)
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  • Mental Files: Replies to My Critics.François Recanati - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (36):207-242.
    My responses to seven critical reviews of my book *Mental Files* published in a special issue of the journal Disputatio, edited by F. Salis. The reviewers are: Keith Hall, David Papineau, Annalisa Coliva and Delia Belleri, Peter Pagin, Thea Goodsell, Krista Lawlor and Manuel Garcia-Carpintero.
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  • Trading on Identity and Singular Thought.Rachel Goodman - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (2):296-312.
    On the traditional relationalist conception of singular thought, a thought has singular content when it is based on an ‘information relation’ to its object. Recent work rejects relationalism and suggests singular thoughts are distinguished from descriptive thoughts by their inferential role: only thoughts with singular content can be employed in ‘direct’ inferences, or inferences that ‘trade on identity’. Firstly this view is insufficiently clear, because it conflates two distinct ideas—one about a kind of inference, the other a kind of process (...)
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  • Recent Defenses of Descriptivism.Anthony Everett - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (1):103-139.
    : David Sosa, Michael Nelson, and Jason Stanley have recently offered a series of interesting and provocative challenges to Kripke's modal arguments against Descriptivism. In this paper I explore these challenges and some of the issues to which they give rise. I argue that, in the end, all three challenges fail.
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  • What do propositions explain? Inflationary vs. deflationary perspectives and the case of singular propositions.Manuel García-Carpintero & Michele Palmira - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-21.
    In this paper we take up the question of the explanatory significance of the notion of propositional content. Our first goal is to disentangle two types of approach: According to what we call inflationism, propositions should be taken seriously enough to expect explanatory payoffs from them. The alternative deflationary approach rejects this claim. Our second goal is to explore the inflationism vs. deflationism contrast in depth by focusing on the distinction between singular and general propositions. We argue that inflationism fails (...)
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  • Barry Stroud, the Quest for Reality: Subjectivism and the Metaphysics of Colour.Jonathan Cohen - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):537-554.
    In The Quest for Reality: Subjectivism and the Metaphysics of Colour [Stroud, 2000], Barry Stroud carries out an ambitious attack on various forms of irrealism and subjectivism about color. The views he targets - those that would deny a place in objective reality to the colors - have a venerable history in philosophy. Versions of them have been defended by Galileo, Descartes, Boyle, Locke, and Hume; more recently, forms of these positions have been articulated by Williams, Smart, Mackie, Ryle, and (...)
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  • Maps, Languages, and Manguages: Rival Cognitive Architectures?Kent Johnson - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (6):815-836.
    Provided we agree about the thing, it is needless to dispute about the terms. —David Hume, A treatise of human nature, Book 1, section VIIMap-like representations are frequently invoked as an alternative type of representational vehicle to a language of thought. This view presupposes that map-systems and languages form legitimate natural kinds of cognitive representational systems. I argue that they do not, because the collections of features that might be taken as characteristic of maps or languages do not themselves provide (...)
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  • David, Some Davids, and All Davids: Reference, Category Change, and Bearerhood of Real-Life Names.Laura Delgado - 2018 - Dissertation, Universitat de Barcelona
    This essay is devoted to the study of proper names. Although the view that sees proper names as referential singular terms is widely considered orthodoxy, there is a growing popularity to the view that proper names are predicates. This is partly because the orthodoxy faces two anomalies that Predicativism can solve: on the one hand, proper names can have multiple bearers. But multiple bearerhood is prima facie a problem to the idea that proper names have just one individual as referent. (...)
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  • Rationality and Puzzling Beliefs.Neil Feit - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):29 - 55.
    The author presents and defends a general view about belief. and certain attributions of belief, with the intention of providing a solution to Saul Kripke’s puzzle about belief. According to the position developed in the paper, there are two senses in which one could be said to have contradictory beliefs. Just one of these senses threatens the rationality of the believer; but Kripke’s puzzle concerns only the other one. The general solution is then extended to certain variants of Kripke’s original (...)
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  • Modified Occam’s Razor.Ben Phillips - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):371-382.
    According to the principle Grice calls 'Modified Occam's Razor' (MOR), 'Senses are not to be multiplied beyond necessity'. More carefully, MOR says that if there are distinct ways in which an expression is regularly used, then, all other things being equal, we should favour the view that the expression is unambiguous and that certain uses of it can be explained in pragmatic terms. In this paper I argue that MOR cannot have the central role that is typically assigned to it (...)
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  • Semantics Without Semantic Content.Daniel W. Harris - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (3):304-328.
    I argue that semantics is the study of the proprietary database of a centrally inaccessible and informationally encapsulated input–output system. This system’s role is to encode and decode partial and defeasible evidence of what speakers are saying. Since information about nonlinguistic context is therefore outside the purview of semantic processing, a sentence’s semantic value is not its content but a partial and defeasible constraint on what it can be used to say. I show how to translate this thesis into a (...)
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  • Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.David Braun - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1):57-99.
    This paper presents a semantic and pragmatic theory of complex demonstratives. According to this theory, the semantic content of a complex demonstrative, in a context, is simply an object, and the semantic content of a sentence that contains a complex demonstrative, in a context, is a singular proposition. This theory is defended from various objections to direct reference theories of complex demonstratives, including King's objection from quantification into complex demonstratives.
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  • In Defense of Semantic Externalism.Panu Raatikainen - 2020 - E-Logos 27 (2):57-70.
    The most popular and influential strategies used against semantic externalism and the causal theory of reference are critically examined. It is argued that upon closer scrutiny, none of them emerges as truly convincing.
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  • Names Are Predicates.Delia Graff Fara - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):59-117.
    One reason to think that names have a predicate-type semantic value is that they naturally occur in count-noun positions: ‘The Michaels in my building both lost their keys’; ‘I know one incredibly sharp Cecil and one that's incredibly dull’. Predicativism is the view that names uniformly occur as predicates. Predicativism flies in the face of the widely accepted view that names in argument position are referential, whether that be Millian Referentialism, direct-reference theories, or even Fregean Descriptivism. But names are predicates (...)
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  • Mental Graphs.James Pryor - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):309-341.
    I argue that Frege Problems in thought are best modeled using graph-theoretic machinery; and that these problems can arise even when subjects associate all the same qualitative properties to the object they’re thinking of twice. I compare the proposed treatment to similar ideas by Heck, Ninan, Recanati, Kamp and Asher, Fodor, and others.
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  • Seeing and Visual Reference.Kevin J. Lande - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Perception is a central means by which we come to represent and be aware of particulars in the world. I argue that an adequate account of perception must distinguish between what one perceives and what one's perceptual experience is of or about. Through capacities for visual completion, one can be visually aware of particular parts of a scene that one nevertheless does not see. Seeing corresponds to a basic, but not exhaustive, way in which one can be visually aware of (...)
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  • Perceptual Content Defended.Susanna Schellenberg - 2011 - Noûs 45 (4):714 - 750.
    Recently, the thesis that experience is fundamentally a matter of representing the world as being a certain way has been questioned by austere relationalists. I defend this thesis by developing a view of perceptual content that avoids their objections. I will argue that on a relational understanding of perceptual content, the fundamental insights of austere relationalism do not compete with perceptual experience being representational. As it will show that most objections to the thesis that experience has content apply only to (...)
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  • Abstracta Are Causal.David Friedell - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):133-142.
    Many philosophers think all abstract objects are causally inert. Here, focusing on novels, I argue that some abstracta are causally efficacious. First, I defend a straightforward argument for this view. Second, I outline an account of object causation—an account of how objects cause effects. This account further supports the view that some abstracta are causally efficacious.
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  • El antiintelectualismo kantiano con respecto a la experiencia.Roberto Horácio de Sá Pereira - 2021 - Con-Textos Kantianos 14:237-261.
    Este artículo pretende ofrecer una visión alternativa tanto de la lectura conceptualista tradicional de Kant como de la nueva lectura no conceptualista. En contra de las lecturas conceptualistas tradicionales sostengo que confunden las condiciones para la representación sensible de los objetos con las condiciones para el reconocimiento de que representamos objetos mediante intuiciones sensibles. En contra de las lecturas no conceptualistas sostengo que no distinguen el no conceptualismo -propio de la filosofía contemporánea de la mente- de las tesis antiintelectualistas de (...)
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  • Against Predicativism About Names.Jeonggyu Lee - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (1):243-261.
    According to predicativism about names, names which occur in argument positions have the same type of semantic contents as predicates. In this paper, I shall argue that these bare singular names do not have the same type of semantic contents as predicates. I will present three objections to predicativism—the modal, the epistemic, and the translation objections—and show that they succeed even against the more sophisticated versions of predicativism defended by Fara and Bach.
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  • De Re and De Se.François Recanati - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (3):249-269.
    For Perry and many authors, de se thoughts are a species of de re thought. In this paper, I argue that de se thoughts come in two varieties: explicit and implicit. While explicit de se thoughts can be construed as a variety of de re thought, implicit de se thoughts cannot: their content is thetic, while the content of de re thoughts is categoric. The notion of an implicit de se thought is claimed to play a central role in accounting (...)
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  • Conceptual Minimalism and Anti–Individualism: A Reply to Goldberg.Kent Bach & Reinaldo Elugardo - 2003 - Noûs 37 (1):151-160.
  • Sense Generation: A “Quasi‐Classical” Approach to Concepts and Concept Combination.Bradley Franks - 1995 - Cognitive Science 19 (4):441-505.
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  • Frege's Puzzle for Perception.Boyd Millar - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):368-392.
    According to an influential variety of the representational view of perceptual experience—the singular content view—the contents of perceptual experiences include singular propositions partly composed of the particular physical object a given experience is about or of. The singular content view faces well-known difficulties accommodating hallucinations; I maintain that there is also an analogue of Frege's puzzle that poses a significant problem for this view. In fact, I believe that this puzzle presents difficulties for the theory that are unique to perception (...)
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  • Term Limits Revisited.Stephen Neale - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):375-442.
  • Syntax and Interpretation.Francesco Pupa & Erika Troseth - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (2):185-209.
    In his book Language in Context, Jason Stanley provides a novel solution to certain interpretational puzzles (Stanley, 2007). The aphonic approach, as we call it, hangs upon a substantial syntactic thesis. Here, we provide theoretical and empirical arguments against this particular syntactic thesis. Moreover, we demonstrate that the interpretational puzzles under question admit of a better solution under the explicit approach.
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  • Hallucinating Real Things.Steven P. James - 2014 - Synthese 191 (15):3711-3732.
    No particular dagger was the object of Macbeth’s hallucination of a dagger. In contrast, when he hallucinated his former comrade Banquo, Banquo himself was the object of the hallucination. Although philosophers have had much to say about the nature and philosophical import of hallucinations (e.g. Macpherson and Platchias, Hallucination, 2013) and object-involving attitudes (e.g. Jeshion, New essays on singular thought, 2010), their intersection has largely been neglected. Yet, object-involving hallucinations raise interesting questions about memory, perception, and the ways in which (...)
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