American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (4):329-42 (2007)

Mikkel Gerken
University of Southern Denmark
It is often presupposed that an anti-individualist about representational mental states must choose between two accounts of no-reference cases. One option is said to be an ‘illusion of thought’ version according to which the subject in a no-reference case fails to think a first-order thought but rather has the illusion of having one. The other is a ‘descriptive’ version according to which one thinks an empty thought via a description. While this presupposition is not uncommon, it rarely surfaces in an explicit manner. Often, it is visible only when a theorist argues directly from the falsity of one of the two views to the truth of the other. However, Jessica Brown’s recent work on anti-individualism clearly illustrates the presupposition. In contention with Brown’s and others presupposition, arguments for two conclusions about the nature of anti-individualism are set forth. First, the choice between the illusion and descriptive version of anti-individualism is a dilemma. Each version of anti-individualism is prone to problems. Second, the choice is a false dilemma. There is another, less problematic, anti-individualistic account of reference failure.
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References found in this work BETA

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
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Citations of this work BETA

Conceptual Equivocation and Warrant by Reasoning.Mikkel Gerken - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):381-400.
A Puzzle About Mental Self-Representation and Causation.Mikkel Gerken - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (6):890-906.
Essays on Skepticism.Mikkel Gerken - 2012 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 2 (1):65-77.

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Similar books and articles

Review of Jessica Brown, Anti-Individualism and Knowledge[REVIEW]Asa Wikforss - 2005 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 13:525-541.
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Conceptual Equivocation and Warrant by Reasoning.Mikkel Gerken - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):381-400.
Individualism: True and False.Friedrich A. von Hayek - 1946 - Dublin, Hodges, Figgis & Co., Ltd.; [Etc., Etc.].


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