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Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by David Manley (2012)

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  1. Rethinking Language, Mind, and Meaning.Scott Soames - 2015 - Princeton University Press.
    In this book, Scott Soames argues that the revolution in the study of language and mind that has taken place since the late nineteenth century must be rethought. The central insight in the reigning tradition is that propositions are representational. To know the meaning of a sentence or the content of a belief requires knowing which things it represents as being which ways, and therefore knowing what the world must be like if it is to conform to how the sentence (...)
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  • Propositions.Trenton Merricks - 2015 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Trenton Merricks presents an original argument for the existence of propositions, and defends an account of their nature. He draws a variety of controversial conclusions, for instance about supervaluationism, the nature of possible worlds, truths about non-existent entities, and whether and how logical consequence depends on modal facts.
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  • Wanting is not expected utility.Tomasz Zyglewicz - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    In this paper, I criticize Ethan Jerzak’s view that ‘want’ has only one sense, the mixed expected utility sense. First, I show that his appeals to ‘really’-locutions fail to explain away the counterintuitive predictions of his view. Second, I present a class of cases, which I call “principled indifference” cases, that pose difficulties for any expected utility lexical entry for ‘want’. I argue that in order to account for these cases, one needs to concede that ‘want’ has a sense, according (...)
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  • Singular propositions.Greg Fitch - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Indexical Sinn: Fregeanism versus Millianism.João Branquinho - 2014 - Revista de Filosofia Aurora 26 (39):465-486.
    This paper discusses two notational variance views with respect to indexical singular reference and content: the view that certain forms of Millianism are at bottom notational variants of a Fregean theory of reference, the Fregean Notational Variance Claim; and the view that certain forms of Fregeanism are at bottom notational variants of a direct reference theory, the Millian Notational Variance Claim. While the former claim rests on the supposition that a direct reference theory could be easily turned into a particular (...)
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  • Quantifying In from a Fregean Perspective.Seth Yalcin - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (2):207-253.
    As Quine observed, the following sentence has a reading which, if true, would be of special interest to the authorities: Ralph believes that someone is a spy. This is the reading where the quantifier is naturally understood as taking wide scope relative to the attitude verb and as binding a variable within the scope of the attitude verb. This essay is interested in addressing the question what the semantic analysis of this kind of reading should look like from a Fregean (...)
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  • Ways to Knowledge-First Believe.Simon Wimmer - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (3):1189-1205.
    On a widely suggested knowledge-first account of belief, to believe p is to phi as if one knew p. I challenge this view by arguing against various regimentations of it. I conclude by generalizing my argument to alternative knowledge-first views suggested by Williamson and Wimmer.
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  • The Significance of the Division of Linguistic Labor.Henri Wagner - 2020 - The Monist 103 (4):381-390.
    This essay aims to explore the significance of Hilary Putnam’s reflections on the division of linguistic labor by putting them into contrast with those of Gareth Evans. Whereas Putnam’s reflections purport to uncover neglected aspects of the contribution of social environment to the meaning and the reference-fixing of conceptual terms, Evans’s reinterpretation of the division of linguistic labor results in obliterating its antisubjectivist and instrumentalist dimension. The crux of the disagreement between Putnam and Evans on the significance of the division (...)
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  • How I Really Say What You Think.José Manuel Viejo - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (3):251-277.
    The apparently obviously true doctrine of opacity has been thought to be inconsistent with two others, to which many philosophers of language are also attracted: the referentialist account of the semantics of proper names and indexicals, on the one hand, and the principle of semantic innocence, on the other. I discuss here one of the most popular strategies for resolving the apparent inconsistency, namely Mark Richard’s theory of belief ascriptions, and raise three problems for it. Finally, I propose an alternative (...)
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  • How I Really Say What You Think.José Manuel Viejo - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (3):251-277.
    The apparently obviously true doctrine of opacity has been thought to be inconsistent with two others, to which many philosophers of language are also attracted: the referentialist account of the semantics of proper names and indexicals, on the one hand, and the principle of semantic innocence, on the other. I discuss here one of the most popular strategies for resolving the apparent inconsistency, namely Mark Richard’s theory of belief ascriptions, and raise three problems for it. Finally, I propose an alternative (...)
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  • Complex demonstratives, singular thought, and belief attributions.José Manuel Viejo - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-27.
    Jeffrey King has famously argued that there are several prima facie problems with the direct reference theory of the semantics of complex demonstratives, three of which apparently resist solution. King concludes by observing that, if these outstanding problems cannot be solved, then the prospects for a direct reference semantics for complex demonstratives will be poor. I shall focus on just one of these outstanding problems—the objection from belief attributions—and suggest that it, at least, can be answered.
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  • Frege’s puzzle is about identity after all.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):628-643.
    Many philosophers have argued or taken for granted that Frege's puzzle has little or nothing to do with identity statements. I show that this is wrong, arguing that the puzzle can only be motivated relative to a thinker's beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the relevant object. The result is important, as it suggests that the puzzle can be solved, not by a semantic theory of names or referring expressions as such, but simply by a theory of identity statements. (...)
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  • Extended Modal Realism — a New Solution to the Problem of Intentional Inexistence.Andrew D. Thomas - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):1197-1208.
    Kriegel described the problem of intentional inexistence as one of the ‘perennial problems of philosophy’, 307–340, 2007: 307). In the same paper, Kriegel alluded to a modal realist solution to the problem of intentional inexistence. However, Kriegel does not state by name who defends the kind of modal realist solution he has in mind. Kriegel also points out that even what he believes to be the strongest version of modal realism does not pass the ‘principle of representation’ and thus modal (...)
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  • Are Sensory Concepts Learned by “Abstraction” from Experience?Pär Sundström - 2018 - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    In recent years, many philosophers and scientists have argued or accepted that it is impossible to learn primitive sensory concepts like “blue” and “red”. This paper defends a more qualified picture. I try to show that some received characterisations of “learning” are nonequivalent and point towards different learning-nonlearning distinctions. And, on some ways of specifying such a distinction, it might be correct that we do not and cannot “learn” a concept of blue. But on other ways of specifying such a (...)
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  • Are Sensory Concepts Learned by “Abstraction” from Experience?Pär Sundström - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):1159-1178.
    In recent years, many philosophers and scientists have argued or accepted that it is impossible to learn primitive sensory concepts like “blue” and “red”. This paper defends a more qualified picture. I try to show that some received characterisations of “learning” are nonequivalent and point towards different learning-nonlearning distinctions. And, on some ways of specifying such a distinction, it might be correct that we do not and cannot “learn” a concept of blue. But on other ways of specifying such a (...)
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  • The Role of Speaker and Hearer in the Character of Demonstratives.Jeff Speaks - 2016 - Mind 125 (498):301-339.
    Demonstratives have different semantic values relative to different contexts of utterance. But it is surprisingly difficult to describe the function from contexts to contents which determines the semantic value of a given use of a demonstrative. It is very natural to think that the intentions of the speaker should play a significant role here. The aim of this paper is to discuss a pair of problems that arise for views which give intentions this central role in explaining the characters of (...)
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  • Reply to Critics.Jeff Speaks - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):492-506.
    Replies to critics (Janet Levin, Casey O'Callaghan, and Adam Pautz) for a book symposium on _The Phenomenal and the Representational_.
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  • Is Knowledge of Essence Required for Thinking about Something?Daniele Sgaravatti - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (2):217-228.
    Lowe claims that having knowledge of the essence of an object is a precondition for thinking about it. Lowe supports this claim with roughly the following argument: you cannot think about something unless you know what you are thinking about; and to know what it is that you are thinking about just is to know its essence. I will argue that this line of reasoning fails because of an equivocation in the expression ‘what a thing is’, which can be used (...)
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  • Ignorance, Beneficence, and Rights.Kieran Setiya - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (1):56-74.
    I argue that ignorance of who will die makes a difference to the ethics of killing. It follows that reasons are subject to ‘specificity’: it can be rational to respond more strongly to facts that provide us with reasons than to the fact that such reasons exist. In the case of killing and letting die, these reasons are distinctively particular: they turn on personal acquaintance. The theory of rights must be, in part, a theory of this relation.
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  • Type-Ambiguous Names.Anders J. Schoubye - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):715-767.
    The orthodox view of proper names, Millianism, provides a very simple and elegant explanation of the semantic contribution of referential uses of names–names that occur as bare singulars and as the argument of a predicate. However, one problem for Millianism is that it cannot explain the semantic contribution of predicative uses of names. In recent years, an alternative view, so-called the-predicativism, has become increasingly popular. According to the-predicativists, names are uniformly count nouns. This straightforwardly explains why names can be used (...)
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  • Perceptual Particularity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):25-54.
    Perception grounds demonstrative reference, yields singular thoughts, and fixes the reference of singular terms. Moreover, perception provides us with knowledge of particulars in our environment and justifies singular thoughts about particulars. How does perception play these cognitive and epistemic roles in our lives? I address this question by exploring the fundamental nature of perceptual experience. I argue that perceptual states are constituted by particulars and discuss epistemic, ontological, psychologistic, and semantic approaches to account for perceptual particularity.
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  • Ghosts, Murderers, and the Semantics of Descriptions.Anders Johan Schoubye - 2011 - Noûs 47 (3):496-533.
    It is widely agreed that sentences containing a non-denoting description embedded in the scope of a propositional attitude verb have true de dicto interpretations, and Russell's (1905) analysis of definite descriptions is often praised for its simple analysis of such cases, cf. e.g. Neale (1990). However, several people, incl. Elbourne (2005, 2009), Heim (1991), and Kripke (2005), have contested this by arguing that Russell's analysis yields incorrect predictions in non-doxastic attitude contexts. Heim and Elbourne have subsequently argued that once certain (...)
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  • Acts of desire.Henry Ian Schiller - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (9):955-972.
    ABSTRACT Act-based theories of content hold that propositions are identical to acts of predication that we perform in thought and talk. To undergo an occurrent thought with a particular content is just to perform the act of predication that individuates that content. But identifying the content of a thought with the performance of an act of predication makes it difficult to explain the intentionality of bouletic mental activity, like wanting and desiring. In this paper, I argue that this difficulty is (...)
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  • Acquaintance and first-person attitude reports.Henry Ian Schiller - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):251-259.
    It is often assumed that singular thought requires that an agent be epistemically acquainted with the object the thought is about. However, it can sometimes truthfully be said of someone that they have a belief about an object, despite not being interestingly epistemically acquainted with that object. In defense of an epistemic acquaintance constraint on singular thought, it is thus often claimed that belief ascriptions are context sensitive and do not always track the contents of an agent’s mental states. This (...)
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  • Temporary Safety Hazards.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4):152-174.
    The Epistemic Objection says that certain theories of time imply that it is impossible to know which time is absolutely present. Standard presentations of the Epistemic Objection are elliptical—and some of the most natural premises one might fill in to complete the argument end up leading to radical skepticism. But there is a way of filling in the details which avoids this problem, using epistemic safety. The new version has two interesting upshots. First, while Ross Cameron alleges that the Epistemic (...)
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  • Definite Descriptions and the Argument from Inference.Wojciech Rostworowski - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):1099-1109.
    This article discusses the “Argument from Inference” raised against the view that definite descriptions are semantically referring expressions. According to this argument, the indicated view is inadequate since it evaluates some invalid inferences with definite descriptions as “valid” and vice versa. I argue that the Argument from Inference is basically wrong. Firstly, it is crucially based on the assumption that a proponent of the view that definite descriptions are referring expressions conceives them as directly referring terms, i.e., the terms which (...)
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  • Quinean predicativism.Michael Rieppel - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):23-44.
    In Word and Object, Quine proposed that names be treated as the predicate elements of covert descriptions, expressing the property of being identical to the named individual. More recently, many theorists have proposed a predicativist view according which a referential name expresses the property of being called by that name. Whereas this Being-Called Predicativism has received much attention in the recent literature, Quinean Predicativism has not. This neglect is undeserved. In this paper, I argue, first, that close appositive constructions suggest (...)
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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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  • The use-conditional indexical conception of proper names.Dolf Rami - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):119-150.
    In this essay I will defend a novel version of the indexical view on proper names. According to this version, proper names have a relatively sparse truth-conditional meaning that is represented by their rigid content and indexical character, but a relatively rich use-conditional meaning, which I call the (contextual) constraint of a proper name. Firstly, I will provide a brief outline of my favoured indexical view on names in contrast to other indexical views proposed in the relevant literature. Secondly, two (...)
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  • The Multiple Uses of Proper Nouns.Dolf Rami - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S2):405-432.
    In this essay I will defend the thesis that proper nouns are primarily used as proper names—as atomic singular referring expressions—and different possible predicative uses of proper nouns are derived from this primary use or an already derived secondary predicative use of proper nouns. There is a general linguistic phenomenon of the derivation of new meanings from already existing meanings of an expression. This phenomenon has different manifestations and different linguistic mechanisms can be used to establish derived meanings of different (...)
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  • Names and Their Kind of Rigidity.Dolf Rami - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):257-282.
    In this paper, I will show that typical formal semantic reconstructions of the rigidity of proper names neglect the important aspect that the rigidity of names is determined by our ordinary use of a name relative to the actual world. This fact was clearly pointed out by Kripke, but overlooked by the subsequent discussion concerning this topic. Based on this diagnosis, I will distinguish three different actualized notions of rigidity. Firstly, I will introduce two different new varieties of known versions (...)
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  • Coalescent theories and divergent paraphrases: definites, non-extensional contexts, and familiarity.Francesco Pupa - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4841-4862.
    A recent challenge to Russell’s theory of definite description centers upon the divergent behavior of definites and their Russellian paraphrases in non-extensional contexts. Russellians can meet this challenge, I argue, by incorporating the familiarity theory of definiteness into Russell’s theory. The synthesis of these two seemingly incompatible theories produces a conceptually consistent and empirically powerful framework. As I show, the coalescence of Russellianism and the familiarity theory of definiteness stands as a legitimate alternative to both Traditional Russellianism and alternative semantic (...)
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  • Discriminatory Capacities, Russell's Principle, and the Importance of Losing Sight of Objects.Johan Gersel - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (3).
    What capacities for discrimination must a subject possess in order to entertain singular thoughts? Evans has suggested that a subject must be able to discriminate his referent from all other entities in order to be able to do so; what he calls Russell's Principle. Evans' view has few followers, and he has been repeatedly accused of presenting no argument in its favour. In this paper I present what I take to be Evans' argument. I suggest that he has been misinterpreted (...)
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  • A User’s Guide to Hybrid Tools.Caleb Perl - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):129-158.
    Hybrid metaethical theories have significant promise; they would have important upshots if they were true. But they also face severe problems. The problems are severe enough to make many philosophers doubt that they could be true. My ambition is to show that the problems are just instances of a highly general problem: a problem about what are sometimes called ‘intensional anaphora'. I'll also show that any adequate explanation of intensional anaphora immediately solves all the problems for the hybrid theorist. We (...)
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  • Testimonial Knowledge-How.Andrew Peet - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (4):895-912.
    There is an emerging skepticism about the existence of testimonial knowledge-how :387–404, 2010; Poston in Noûs 50:865–878, 2016; Carter and Pritchard in Philos Phenomenol Res 91:181–199, 2015a). This is unsurprising since a number of influential approaches to knowledge-how struggle to accommodate testimonial knowledge-how. Nonetheless, this scepticism is misguided. This paper establishes that there are cases of easy testimonial knowledge-how. It is structured as follows: first, a case is presented in which an agent acquires knowledge-how simply by accepting a speaker’s testimony. (...)
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  • Knowledge-yielding communication.Andrew Peet - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3303-3327.
    A satisfactory theory of linguistic communication must explain how it is that, through the interpersonal exchange of auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli, the communicative preconditions for the acquisition of testimonial knowledge regularly come to be satisfied. Without an account of knowledge-yielding communication this success condition for linguistic theorizing is left opaque, and we are left with an incomplete understanding of testimony, and communication more generally, as a source of knowledge. This paper argues that knowledge-yielding communication should be modelled on knowledge (...)
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  • Towards a pluralist theory of singular thought.Michele Palmira - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3947-3974.
    This paper investigates the question of how to correctly capture the scope of singular thinking. The first part of the paper identifies a scope problem for the dominant view of singular thought maintaining that, in order for a thinker to have a singular thought about an object o, the thinker has to bear a special epistemic relation to o. The scope problem has it is that this view cannot make sense of the singularity of our thoughts about objects to which (...)
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  • Singular thoughts and de re attitude reports.James Openshaw - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (4):415-437.
    It is widely supposed that if there is to be a plausible connection between the truth of a de re attitude report about a subject and that subject’s possession of a singular thought, then ‘acquaintance’-style requirements on singular thought must be rejected. I show that this belief rests on poorly motivated claims about how we talk about the attitudes. I offer a framework for propositional attitude reports which provides both attractive solutions to recalcitrant puzzle cases and the key to preserving (...)
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  • Thinking about many.James Openshaw - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2863-2882.
    The notorious problem of the many makes it difficult to resist the conclusion that almost coincident with any ordinary object are a vast number of near-indiscernible objects. As Unger was aware in his presentation of the problem, this abundance raises a concern as to how—and even whether—we achieve singular thought about ordinary objects. This paper presents, clarifies, and defends a view which reconciles a plenitudinous conception of ordinary objects with our having singular thoughts about those objects. Indeed, this strategy has (...)
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  • Complex demonstratives, hidden arguments, and presupposition.Ethan Nowak - 2019 - Synthese (4):1-36.
    Standard semantic theories predict that non-deictic readings for complex demonstratives should be much more widely available than they in fact are. If such readings are the result of a lexical ambiguity, as Kaplan (1977) and others suggest, we should expect them to be available wherever a definite description can be used. The same prediction follows from ‘hidden argument’ theories like the ones described by King (2001) and Elbourne (2005). Wolter (2006), however, has shown that complex demonstratives admit non-deictic interpretations only (...)
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  • Self‐Location and Other‐Location.Dilip Ninan - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):301-331.
    According to one tradition in the philosophy of language and mind, the content of a psychological attitude can be characterized by a set of possibilities. On the classic version of this account, advocated by Hintikka (1962) and Stalnaker (1984) among others, the possibilities in question are possible worlds, ways the universe might be. Lewis (1979, 1983a) proposed an alternative to this account, according to which the possibilities in question are possible individuals or centered worlds, ways an individual might be. The (...)
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  • The Demonstrative Model of first-person thought.Daniel Morgan - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1795-1811.
    What determines the reference of first-person thoughts—thoughts that one would express using the first-person pronoun? I defend a model on which our ways of gaining knowledge of ourselves do, in much the way that our ways of gaining knowledge of objects in the world determine the reference of perceptual demonstrative thoughts. This model—the Demonstrative Model of First-Person Thought—can be motivated by reference to independently plausible general principles about how reference is determined. But it faces a serious objection. There seems to (...)
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  • Unspeakable names.Eliot Michaelson - 2023 - Synthese 201 (2):1-19.
    There are some names which cannot be spoken and others which cannot be written, at least on certain very natural ways of conceiving of them. Interestingly, this observation proves to be in tension with a wide range of views about what names are. Prima facie, this looks like a problem for predicativists. Ultima facie, it turns out to be equally problematic for Millians. For either sort of theorist, resolving this tension requires embracing a revisionary account of the metaphysics of names. (...)
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  • Art and Ethics in a Material World: Kant's Pragmatist Legacy. [REVIEW]Samantha Matherne - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266):189-192.
  • Singular Reference Without Singular Thought.Filipe Martone - 2016 - Manuscrito 39 (1):33-60.
    In this paper I challenge the widespread assumption that the conditions for singular reference are more or less the same as the conditions for singular thought. I claim that we refer singularly to things without thinking singularly about them more often than it is usually believed. I first argue that we should take the idea that singular thought is non-descriptive thought very seriously. If we do that, it seems that we cannot be so liberal about what counts as acquaintance; only (...)
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  • Donnellan, nomes millianos E o contingente a priori.Filipe Martone - 2017 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 58 (138):539-556.
    Neste artigo, primeiramente, apresento tese de Kripke sobre a possibilidade de se adquirir conhecimento de verdades contingentes a priori e a crítica de Keith Donnellan a essa tese. Depois, exploro a distinção que Donnellan faz entre (a) saber que uma sentença é verdadeira e (b) conhecer a verdade que essa sentença expressa. Argumento que essa distinção não é relevante apenas no contexto de sua crítica ao contingente a priori, mas sim para nossa prática com nomes próprios de modo geral. Tento (...)
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  • Pensamento Singular e Atos de Pensamento Episódicos.Soutif Ludovic - 2018 - Manuscrito 41 (1):93-113.
    No debate acerca da singularidade de, pelos menos, alguns de nossos pensamentos sobre o mundo, assume-se corriqueiramente que o responsável pela natureza singular do episódio mental não é o próprio episódio e, sim, a proposição singular expressa quer por um proferimento assertórico de sentença singular autônoma, quer pela cláusula complementar em um relato de atribuição de atitude proposicional. As rotas semânticas padrão assumem que a singularidade do episódio mental (conceitual) é por assim dizer “herdada” da singularidade do conteúdo. Argumento que (...)
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  • Speaker's reference and anaphoric pronouns.Karen S. Lewis - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):404-437.
  • Descriptions, pronouns, and uniqueness.Karen S. Lewis - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (3):559-617.
    Both definite descriptions and pronouns are often anaphoric; that is, part of their interpretation in context depends on prior linguistic material in the discourse. For example: A student walked in. The student sat down. A student walked in. She sat down. One popular view of anaphoric pronouns, the d-type view, is that pronouns like ‘she’ go proxy for definite descriptions like ‘the student who walked in’, which are in turn treated in a classical Russellian or Fregean fashion. I argue for (...)
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  • Mental files, concepts, and bodies of information.Poong Shil Lee - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3499-3518.
    In this paper, I argue that mental files are both concepts and bodies of information, against the existing views proposed by Fodor and Recanati. Fodor argues that mental files are not concepts but memories of information because concepts are mental symbols. However, Fodor’s argument against the identification of mental files with concepts fails. Recanati disagrees with Fodor and argues that mental files are concepts. But Recanati’s view does not differ essentially from Fodor’s because Recanati holds that mental files are simple (...)
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