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  1. 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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  • Enduring Senses.Graeme A. Forbes & Nathan Wildman - 2022 - Synthese 200 (291):1-21.
    The meanings of words seem to change over time. But while there is a growing body of literature in linguistics and philosophy about meaning change, there has been little discussion about the metaphysical underpinnings of meaning change. The central aim of this paper is to push this discussion forward by surveying the terrain and advocating for a particular metaphysical picture. In so doing, we hope to clarify various aspects of the nature of meaning change, as well as prompt future philosophical (...)
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  • Saying too Little and Saying too Much. Critical notice of ‘Lying, Misleading and What is Said’, by Jennifer Saul.Andreas Stokke - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (35):81-91.
    Stokke-Andreas_Saying-too-little-and-saying-too-much2.
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  • Dubbings-in-Trouble.Dimitris A. Galanakis - 2008 - Disputatio 3 (25):1 - 19.
    Pelczar and Rainsbury advance a theory of proper names which purports, inter alia, to implement Kripke’s causal theory of name reference in order to explain reference change. The key tool for accomplishing this is the notion of a dubbing-in-force. In this paper I aim to show that this special appeal to dubbings does not sustain any real advance over Kripke’s account at least with respect to the problem of inadvertent referential shift. I argue that this theory has not offered any (...)
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  • 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 (...)
  • Filosofia da Linguagem - uma introdução.Sofia Miguens - 2007 - Porto: Universidade do Porto. Faculdade de Letras.
    O presente manual tem como intenção constituir um guia para uma disciplina introdutória de filosofia da linguagem. Foi elaborado a partir da leccionação da disciplina de Filosofia da Linguagem I na Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto desde 2001. A disciplina de Filosofia da Linguagem I ocupa um semestre lectivo e proporciona aos estudantes o primeiro contacto sistemático com a área da filosofia da linguagem. Pretende-se que este manual ofereça aos estudantes os instrumentos necessários não apenas para acompanhar uma (...)
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  • Descriptive Indexicals, Deferred Reference, and Anaphora.Katarzyna Kijania-Placek - 2020 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 62 (1):25-52.
    The objectives of this paper are twofold. The first is to present a differentiation between two kinds of deferred uses of indexicals: those in which indexical utterances express singular propositions and those where they express general propositions. The second objective is the analysis of the descriptive uses of indexicals. In contrast to Nunberg, who treats descriptive uses as a special case of deferred reference in which a property contributes to the proposition expressed, I argue that examples in which a general (...)
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  • Names vs nouns.Laura Delgado - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (11):3233-3258.
    This paper takes issue with the predicativist’s identification of proper names and common count nouns. Although Predicativism emerges precisely to account for certain syntactic facts about proper names, namely, that they behave like common count nouns on occasions, it seems clear that proper names and common count nouns have different properties, and this undermines the thesis that proper names are in fact just common count nouns. The predicativist’s strategy to bridge these differences is to postulate an unpronounced determiner to go (...)
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  • A Theory of Sentience.Austen Clark (ed.) - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    Drawing on the findings of neuroscience, this text proposes and defends the hypothesis that the various modalities of sensation share a generic form that the author, Austen Clark, calls feature-placing.
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  • Neo-Davidsonian ontology of events.Ziqian Zhou - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (1):1-41.
    Recent Neo-Davidsonian accounts of the semantics of progressive constructions of action verbs reflect an ontological distinction between processes or incomplete events on the one hand, and complete events on the other. This paper has two goals. First, it attempts to show that this putative ontological distinction is beset with problems. The second goal of this paper is to offer the beginnings of a positive proposal that seeks to show how the ontologically austere Davidsonian can account for the truth conditions of (...)
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  • The Inference Objection to Evidence Cases.Julie Wulfemeyer - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (1):361-368.
    Chastain and Sawyer, among others, claim that direct cognitive relations can be initiated in evidence cases. Direct cognitive relations will here include Chastain’s knowledge-of and Sawyer’s trace-based acquaintance, as well as related notions such as having-in-mind and singular thought. Against this controversial claim, it is often objected that such cases are better understood as cases of inference rather than cases of direct thought. When one detects something by its footprint, the objection goes, one merely infers that it exists rather than (...)
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  • Egocentric and Encyclopedic Doxastic States in Delusions of Misidentification.Sam Wilkinson - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (2):219-234.
    A recent debate in the literature on delusions centers on the question of whether delusions are beliefs or not. In this paper, an overlooked distinction between egocentric and encyclopedic doxastic states is introduced and brought to bear on this debate, in particular with regard to delusions of misidentification. The result is that a more accurate characterization of the delusional subject’s doxastic point of view is made available. The patient has a genuine egocentric belief (“This man is not my father”), but (...)
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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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  • Proper Names and their Fictional Uses.Heidi Tiedke - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):707 - 726.
    Fictional names present unique challenges for semantic theories of proper names, challenges strong enough to warrant an account of names different from the standard treatment. The theory developed in this paper is motivated by a puzzle that depends on four assumptions: our intuitive assessment of the truth values of certain sentences, the most straightforward treatment of their syntactic structure, semantic compositionality, and metaphysical scruples strong enough to rule out fictional entities, at least. It is shown that these four assumptions, taken (...)
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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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  • Fiction and importation.Andreas Stokke - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (1):65-89.
    Importation in fictional discourse is the phenomenon by which audiences include information in the story over and above what is explicitly stated by the narrator. This paper argues that importation is distinct from generation, the phenomenon by which truth in fiction may outstrip what is made explicit, and draws a distinction between fictional truth and fictional records. The latter comprises the audience’s picture of what is true according to the narrator. The paper argues that importation into fictional records operates according (...)
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  • The odd couple: The compatibility of social construction and evolutionary psychology.Stephen P. Stich & Ron Mallon - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):133-154.
    Evolutionary psychology and social constructionism are widely regarded as fundamentally irreconcilable approaches to the social sciences. Focusing on the study of the emotions, we argue that this appearance is mistaken. Much of what appears to be an empirical disagreement between evolutionary psychologists and social constructionists over the universality or locality of emotional phenomena is actually generated by an implicit philosophical dispute resulting from the adoption of different theories of meaning and reference. We argue that once this philosophical dispute is recognized, (...)
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  • Local pragmatics in a Gricean framework.Mandy Simons - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (5):466-492.
    The pragmatic framework developed by H.P. Grice in “Logic and Conversation” explains how a speaker can mean something more than, or different from, the conventional meaning of the sentence she utters. But it has been argued that the framework cannot give a similar explanation for cases where these pragmatic effects impact the understood content of an embedded clause, such as the antecedent of a conditional, a clausal disjunct, or the clausal complement of a verb. In this paper, I show that (...)
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  • Local pragmatics in a Gricean framework, revisited: response to three commentaries.Mandy Simons - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (5):539-568.
    There are two central themes that occupy the commentaries, and hence this response. The first is the character and role of what is said, both in my account, and in pragmatic theory in general. In response, I lay out in more detail the proposal from my original paper that the starting point for Gricean reasoning should be not what is said, but the pragmatically uncommitted what is expressed. As part of this argument, I restate and provide further arguments for my (...)
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  • A Lesson from Referential Uses of Definite Descriptions.Adriana Silva Graça - 2007 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 27 (1).
    In this paper it will be shown that a substantial conception of semantics, one that does not regard semantic phenomena as subsumed under pragmatic ones, is necessary to account for what cries out for an explanation regarding the old problem of the semantic relevance of the referential/attributive distinction, as applied to singular definite descriptions. I consider some alternative proposals to deal with the data, showing why they are wrong, and I finish by establishing that some arguments that allegedly derive the (...)
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  • The particularity and phenomenology of perceptual experience.Susanna Schellenberg - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (1):19-48.
    I argue that any account of perceptual experience should satisfy the following two desiderata. First, it should account for the particularity of perceptual experience, that is, it should account for the mind-independent object of an experience making a difference to individuating the experience. Second, it should explain the possibility that perceptual relations to distinct environments could yield subjectively indistinguishable experiences. Relational views of perceptual experience can easily satisfy the first but not the second desideratum. Representational views can easily satisfy the (...)
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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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  • Ontological Minimalism about Phenomenology.Susanna Schellenberg - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):1-40.
    I develop a view of the common factor between subjectively indistinguishable perceptions and hallucinations that avoids analyzing experiences as involving awareness relations to abstract entities, sense-data, or any other peculiar entities. The main thesis is that hallucinating subjects employ concepts (or analogous nonconceptual structures), namely the very same concepts that in a subjectively indistinguishable perception are employed as a consequence of being related to external, mind-independent objects or property-instances. These concepts and nonconceptual structures are identified with modes of presentation types. (...)
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  • Illusion of transparency.Laura Schroeter - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):597 – 618.
    It's generally agreed that, for a certain a class of cases, a rational subject cannot be wrong in treating two elements of thought as co-referential. Even anti-individualists like Tyler Burge agree that empirical error is impossible in such cases. I argue that this immunity to empirical error is illusory and sketch a new anti-individualist approach to concepts that doesn't require such immunity.
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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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  • Lessons from Descriptive Indexicals.Kjell Johan Sæbø - 2015 - Mind 124 (496):1111-1161.
    Two main methods for analysing de re readings of definite descriptions in intensional contexts coexist: that of evaluating the description in the actual world, whether by means of scope, actuality operators, or non-local world binding, and that of substituting another description, usually one expressing a salient or ‘vivid’ acquaintance relation to an attitude holder, prior to evaluation. Recent work on so-called descriptive indexicals suggests that contrary to common assumptions, both methods are needed, for different ends. This paper aims to show (...)
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  • Cognitivism: A New Theory of Singular Thought?Sarah Sawyer - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (3):264-283.
    In a series of recent articles, Robin Jeshion has developed a theory of singular thought which she calls ‘cognitivism’. According to Jeshion, cognitivism offers a middle path between acquaintance theories—which she takes to impose too strong a requirement on singular thought, and semantic instrumentalism—which she takes to impose too weak a requirement. In this article, I raise a series of concerns about Jeshion's theory, and suggest that the relevant data can be accommodated by a version of acquaintance theory that distinguishes (...)
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  • Relational belief reports.François Recanati - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 100 (3):255-272.
  • Literal/nonliteral.François Recanati - 2001 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):264–274.
  • Local pragmatics: reply to Mandy Simons.François Recanati - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (5):493-508.
    In response to Mandy Simons’ defence of a classical Gricean approach to pragmatic enrichment in terms of conversational implicature, I emphasize the following contrast. Conversational implicatures are generated by a global inference which uses as a premise the fact that the speaker has said that p, but only the triggering inference is global in cases of pragmatic enrichment. What generates the correct interpretation is a process of reconstrual, which locally maps the literal meaning of a constituent to a modulated meaning (...)
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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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  • Does linguistic communication rest on inference?François Recanati - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (1-2):105–126.
    It is often claimed that, because of semantic underdetermination, one can determine the content of an utterance only by appealing to pragmatic considerations concerning what the speaker means, what his intentions are. This supports ‘inferentialism' : the view that, in contrast to perceptual content, communicational content is accessed indirectly, via an inference. As against this view, I argue that primary pragmatic processes (the pragmatic processes that are involved in the determination of truth-conditional content) need not involve an inference from premisses (...)
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  • Domains of discourse.François Recanati - 1996 - Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (5):445 - 475.
    In the first part of this paper I present a defence of the Austinian semantic approach to incomplete quantifiers and similar phenomena (section 2-4). It is part of my defence of Austinian semantics that it incorporates a cognitive dimension (section 4). This cognitive dimension makes it possible to connect Austinian semantics to various cognitive theories of discourse interpretation. In the second part of the paper (sections 5-7), I establish connections between Austinian semantics and four particular theories: • the theory of (...)
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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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  • The Alleged Priority of Literal Interpretation.François Récanati - 1995 - Cognitive Science 19 (2):207-232.
    In this paper I argue against a widely accepted model of utterance interpretation, namely the LS model, according to which the literal interpretation of an utterance (the proposition literally expressed by that utterance) must be computed before non-literal interpretations can be entertained. Alleged arguments in favor of this model are shown to be fallacious, counterexamples are provided, and alternative models are sketched.
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  • The argument from convention revisited.Francesco Pupa - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2175-2204.
    The argument from convention contends that the regular use of definite descriptions as referential devices strongly implies that a referential semantic convention underlies such usage. On the presumption that definite descriptions also participate in a quantificational semantic convention, the argument from convention has served as an argument for the thesis that the English definite article is ambiguous. Here, I revisit this relatively new argument. First, I address two recurring criticisms of the argument from convention: its alleged tendency to overgenerate and (...)
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  • XII—Why Are Indexicals Essential?Simon Prosser - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (3pt3):211-233.
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Volume 115, Issue 3pt3, Page 211-233, December 2015.
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  • The Metaphysics of Mental Files.Simon Prosser - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):657-676.
    There is much to be said for a diachronic or interpersonal individuation of singular modes of presentation (MOPs) in terms of a criterion of epistemic transparency between thought tokens. This way of individuating MOPs has been discussed recently within the mental files framework, though the issues discussed here arise for all theories that individuate MOPs in terms of relations among tokens. All such theories face objections concerning apparent failures of the transitivity of the ‘same MOP’ relation. For mental files, these (...)
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  • Cognitive dynamics and indexicals.Simon Prosser - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (4):369–391.
    Frege held that indexical thoughts could be retained through changes of context that required a change of indexical term. I argue that Frege was partially right in that a singular mode of presentation can be retained through changes of indexical. There must, however, be a further mode of presentation that changes when the indexical term changes. This suggests that indexicals should be regarded as complex demonstratives; a change of indexical term is like a change between 'that φ' and 'that ψ', (...)
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  • Who’s afraid of the predicate theory of names?Stefano Predelli - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (4):363-376.
    This essay is devoted to an analysis of the semantic significance of a fashionable view of proper names, the Predicate Theory of names, typically developed in the direction of the Metalinguistic Theory of names. According to MT, ‘syntactic evidence supports the conclusion that a name such as ‘Kennedy’ is analyzable in terms of the predicate ‘individual named ‘Kennedy’’. This analysis is in turn alleged to support a descriptivist treatment of proper names in designative position, presumably in contrast with theories of (...)
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  • The referential-attributive distinction: A cognitive account.George Powell - 2001 - Pragmatics and Cognition 9 (1):69-98.
    In this paper my aim is to approach the referential¿attributive distinction in the interpretation of definite descriptions, originally discussed by Donnellan (1966), from a cognitive perspective grounded in Sperber and Wilson¿s Relevance Theory (Sperber and Wilson 1986/95). In particular, I argue that definite descriptions encode a procedural semantics, in the sense of Blakemore (1987), which is neutral as between referential and attributive readings (among others). On this account, the distinction between referential and attributive readings arises as a result of the (...)
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  • Frege: Two theses, two senses.Carlo Penco - 2003 - History and Philosophy of Logic 24 (2):87-109.
    One particular topic in the literature on Frege’s conception of sense relates to two apparently contradictory theses held by Frege: the isomorphism of thought and language on one hand and the expressibility of a thought by different sentences on the other. I will divide the paper into five sections. In (1) I introduce the problem of the tension in Frege’s thought. In (2) I discuss the main attempts to resolve the conflict between Frege’s two contradictory claims, showing what is wrong (...)
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  • Pleonastic propositions and de re belief.Gary Ostertag - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3529-3547.
    In The Things We Mean, Stephen Schiffer defends a novel account of the entities to which belief reports relate us and to which their that-clauses refer. For Schiffer, the referred-to entities—propositions—exist in virtue of contingencies of our linguistic practices, deriving from “pleonastic restatements” of ontologically neutral discourse. Schiffer’s account of the individuation of propositions derives from his treatment of that -clause reference. While that -clauses are referential singular terms, their reference is not determined by the speaker’s referential intentions. Rather, their (...)
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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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  • Reference and ethnic-group terms.Susana Nuccetelli - 2004 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):528 – 544.
    The increasingly pluralistic character of modern societies has led to questions, not only about the proper use of ethnic-group terms, but also about the correct semantic analysis of them. Here I argue that ethnic-group terms are analogous to other linguistic expressions whose extension is fixed in the way suggested by a causal theory of reference. My view accommodates precisely those scenarios of communication involving ethnic-group terms that will be seen puzzling to Fregeans. At the same time, it undermines the plausibility (...)
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  • Mental Files: an Introduction.Michael Murez & François Recanati - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):265-281.
  • The names of historical figures: A descriptivist reply.Luis Fernandez Moreno - 2007 - Acta Analytica 22 (2):155-168.
    Kripke’s most important arguments in Naming and Necessity against the description theory of reference of proper names are the arguments from ignorance and error concerning names of historical figures. The aim of this paper is to put forward a reply to these arguments. The answer to them is grounded on the development of one component of the version of the description theory proposed by the authors that are regarded as the classical contemporary advocates of this theory, namely Searle and Strawson; (...)
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  • The Real Problem with Uniqueness.Andrei Moldovan - 2017 - SATS 18 (2):125-139.
    Arguments against the Russellian theory of definite descriptions based on cases that involve failures of uniqueness are a recurrent theme in the relevant literature. In this paper, I discuss a number of such arguments, from Strawson (1950), Ramachandran (1993) and Szabo (2005). I argue that the Russellian has resources to account for these data by deploying a variety of mechanisms of quantifier domain restrictions. Finally, I present a case that is more problematic for the Russellian. While the previous cases all (...)
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