Authors
Rachel Goodman
University of Illinois, Chicago
Abstract
It has become popular of late to identify the phenomenon of thinking a singular thought with that of thinking with a mental file. Proponents of the mental files conception of singular thought claim that one thinks a singular thought about an object o iff one employs a mental file to think about o. I argue that this is false by arguing that there are what I call descriptive mental files, so some file-based thought is not singular thought. Descriptive mental files are mental files for which descriptive information plays four roles: determines which object the file is about, if any, it sets limits on possible mistakes that fall within the scope of successful reference for the file, it acts as a ‘gatekeeper’ for the file, and it determines persistence conditions for the file. Contrary to popular assumption, a description playing these roles is consistent with the file-theoretic framework. Recognising this allows us to distinguish the notion of singular thought from that of file-thinking and better understand the nature and role of both.
Keywords Mental Files  Singular Thought
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DOI 10.1007/s13164-014-0209-0
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References found in this work BETA

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
The Reference Book.John Hawthorne & David Manley - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
The Varieties of Reference.Louise M. Antony - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (2):275.

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Citations of this work BETA

Cognitivism, Significance and Singular Thought.Rachel Goodman - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):236-260.
The Mental Files Theory of Singular Thought: A Psychological Perspective.Michael Murez, Joulia Smortchkova & Brent Strickland - 2020 - In Rachel Goodman, James Genone & Nick Kroll (eds.), Singular Thought and Mental Files. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 107-142.
On the Cognitive Role of Singular Thoughts.Bartłomiej Czajka & Jędrzej Piotr Grodniewicz - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology (3):1-22.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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