An acquaintance constraint and a cognitive significance constraint on singular thought

Balkan Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):163-174 (2013)

Authors
Mirela Fus
University of St. Andrews
Abstract
Among Singularists, it has been widely accepted that one can have singular thought by acquaintance, and that acquaintance encompasses the perceptual acquiring, memorizing and communicating of singular thoughts. I defend the possibility of having a singular thought via extending acquaintance to intermediaries other than just through written and spoken words. On my account, singular thought includes two types of representations, namely indexical-iconic representation and indexical-discursive representation. Also, it is determined by two constraints: (i) the acquaintance constraint: singular thought includes a causal-historical relation to the object; and (ii) the cognitive significance constraint: we have a cognitive capacity to deliberately encode an indexical-iconic representation into an indexical-discursive representation, which enables us to have a singular thought.
Keywords singular thought  acquaintance constraint  cognitive significance constraint  indexical-iconic representation  indexical-discursive representation
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