In William Kabasenche, Michael O’Rourke & Matthew Slater (eds.), Reference and Referring: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Volume 10. Cambridge, MA: pp. 119-148 (2012)

Chris Tillman
University of Manitoba
Joshua Spencer
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Kripke's discussion in Naming and Necessity strongly suggests that semantic stipulation allows us to have new de re thoughts and make new de re claims. For example, it seems we could name the winning ticket in the next lottery 'Tickie' and thereby come to have singular thoughts about Tickie as opposed to merely general thoughts about the winning ticket (whichever one that is). This, in turn, seems to put us into a position to know that Tickie is the winning ticket. If so, it seems we now know which ticket will win the lottery. So it seems semantic stipulation puts us in a position to have all sorts of knowledge that, intuitively, we don't have. We argue that semantic stipulation does put you in a position to have new singular thoughts, though those thoughts will usually be informationally isolated. We think you also typically know these singular propositions, but it is misleading for you to say that you do since you typically cannot act on your knowledge in the expected way. On the other hand, since you can't act on the information in the right way, perhaps your knowledge is thwarted. If so, you don't know Tickie will win since you can't act on that information in order to (e.g.) buy Tickie and no other ticket. We develop both views and argue that they are preferable to the alternatives.
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