Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press (2015)
Imogen Dickie develops an account of aboutness-fixing for thoughts about ordinary objects, and of reference-fixing for the singular terms we use to express them. Extant discussions of this topic tread a weary path through descriptivist proposals, causalist alternatives, and attempts to combine the most attractive elements of each. The account developed here is a new beginning. It starts with two basic principles, the first of which connects aboutness and truth, and the second of which connects truth and justification. These principles combine to yield a third principle connecting aboutness and justification. Dickie uses the principle to explain how the relations to objects that enable us to think about them--perceptual attention; understanding of proper names; grasp of descriptions--do their aboutness-fixing and thought-enabling work. The book includes discussions of the nature of singular thought and the relation between thought and consciousness.