In this paper, I assess whether indexical attitudes, e.g. beliefs and desires, have any special properties or present any special challenge to theories of propositional attitudes. I being by investigating the claim that allegedly problematic indexical cases are just instances of the familiar phenomenon of referential opacity. Regardless of endorsing that claim, I provide an argument to the effect that indexical attitudes do have a special property. My argument relies on the fact that one cannot account for what is it (...) to share someone else’s indexical attitudes without rejecting some plausible thesis about propositional attitudes. In the end, I assess Herman Cappelen and Josh Dever’s considerations on intentional action and extract an argument from them that could – if successful – neutralize my own. I finish by arguing that their argument has an important flaw, thus failing to convince us that indexical attitudes are just as ordinary as any other. (shrink)
It seems plausible that successfully communicating with our peers requires entertaining the same thoughts as they do. We argue that this view is incompatible with other, independently plausible principles of thought individuation. Our argument is based on a puzzle inspired by the Kripkean story of Peter and Paderewski: having developed several variations of the original story, we conclude that understanding and communication cannot be modeled as a process of thought transfer between speaker and hearer. While we are not the first (...) to reach this conclusion, the significance of our argument lies in the fact that it only relies on widely accepted premises, without depending on any especially controversial theory of mental and linguistic content. We conclude by drawing out the implications of that conclusion: if communication and understanding do not require thought identity, then one important motivation for the postulation of inter-personally shared thoughts is undercut. (shrink)
According to a recently developed family of relational views, whether two concepts C1 and C2 are the same is a matter of an external relation in which their tokens stand. In this paper, we highlight the chief contributions of Relationism in the elucidation of concept sameness, present a set of arguments to the effect that relational accounts of concept sameness fail to accommodate a substantive notion of concept publicity, and offer a diagnosis of this result. We conclude that the strengths (...) of non-relational approaches will also need to be considered in order to fully capture what it means for a concept to be public. (shrink)
I suggest a solution to a conflict between semantic internalism – according to which the concepts one expresses are determined by one's use of representations – and publicity – according to which, if two subjects successfully communicate or are in genuine agreement, then they entertain thoughts constituted by the same concepts. My solution rests on the thesis that there can be successful communication and genuine agreement between thinkers employing distinct concepts as long as there is a certain relation (of conceptually (...) guaranteed sameness of extension) between them. In section 2, I motivate semantic internalism and show how it conflicts with publicity. In section 3, I carve the logical space of possible solutions to the conflict into liberal and conservative solutions. Section 4 assesses Wikforss's conservative solution to Burge's arthritis thought‐experiment and concludes that it fails for more than one reason. Section 5 introduces a new case study involving a deferential concept. This case serves as the backdrop for my positive account offered in section 6. The conclusion of the article is preceded by a comparison of my view with another recently proposed by Recanati (section 7) and some replies to possible objections (section 8). (shrink)
This is a critical notice of Mario Gómez-Torrente's novel account of demonstrative reference presented in chapter 2 of the recently published book Roads to Reference. After presenting the main tenets of his view, I go on to critically examine a couple of its features. In section 2, I assess Gómez-Torrente’s assumption that demonstrative thought based on perception is less likely to succumb to indeterminacy than the others. I show that this aspect of his view invites unwelcome consequences regarding the transparency (...) of thought. I do however suggest that this problem could be overcome by individuating perceptual intentions dynamically. In section 3, I express a distinct worry regarding a case, introduced en passant by Gómez-Torrente, that involves successful demonstrative reference regardless of its utterer's conflicting intentions, a result that seems to contradict his general theory. Instead of conceiving the case as exceptional, I use it to motivate the necessity of distinguishing between a subject’s referential intentions and a subject’s merely collateral beliefs about the target of his utterance. (shrink)
I discuss a criterion for successful communication between a speaker and a hearer put forward by Buchanan according to which there is communicative success only if the hearer entertains, as a result of interpreting the speaker's utterance, a thought that has the same truth conditions as the thought asserted by the speaker and, furthermore, does so in virtue of recognizing the speaker's communicative intentions. I argue, against Buchanan, that the data on which it is based are compatible with a view (...) involving Fregean modes of presentation. In the second part of the article I critically discuss Unnsteinsson's claim that communicative success depends on the absence of contextually salient false distinctness beliefs about the subject matter of the conversation. I argue that this thesis leads to clearly counterintuitive consequences and that no fundamental role must be given to the presence or absence of false distinctness beliefs in one's account of successful communication. The upshot is that we should stick with Buchanan's criterion. I conclude by employing Strawson and Recanati's concepts of linking and merging to show how the criterion I favour is compatible with the fact that, when subjects hold no relevant false distinctness beliefs, communicative success does not seem to be disrupted by the hearer seemingly failing to recognize the speaker's intentions. (shrink)
We advance a theory of the representational role of Euclidean diagrams according to which they are samples of co-exact features. We contrast our theory with two other conceptions, the instantial conception and Macbeth’s iconic view, with respect to how well they accommodate three fundamental constraints on theories of the Euclidean diagrammatic practice— that Euclidean diagrams are used in proofs whose results are wholly general, that Euclidean diagrams indicate the co-exact features that the geometer is allowed to infer from them and (...) that Euclidean diagrams play the same role in both direct proofs and indirect proofs by reductio—and argue that our view is the one best suited to account for them. We conclude by illustrating the virtues of our conception of Euclidean diagrams as samples by means of an analysis of Saccheri’s quadrilateral. (shrink)
Frege’s puzzling remarks on the beginning of On Sense and Reference challenge us to explain how true identity sentences of the form a = a can differ in cognitive value from sentences of the form a = b when they are made true by the same object’s self-identity. Some philosophers (e.g. Almog, Glezakos and Paganini) suggest that the puzzle cannot be set up in the context of natural languages since natural sentences, unlike those of regimented formal ones, do not wear (...) their logical properties on their sleeves. In this paper we argue that, on the contrary, there exists a notion of coordination between names which is apt to track the relevant logical properties of natural sentences and therefore to set up the puzzle in natural languages. Frege’s puzzle is here to stay. (shrink)
This special issue is dedicated to Vojislav Božičković's The Indexical Point of View (Routledge, 2021) and contains five critical notices written by experts from all around the globe accompanied by the author's responses.
ABSTRACT We review the book About Oneself: De Se Thought and Communication, a compilation of papers on de se thought and its implications for a theory of communication. We critically examine the main themes put forward by the papers and try to show how, when put together, they point the way for future discussions about the issue of indexical thought and communication.
ABSTRACT We review Danielle Macbeth's book Realizing Reason, published by Oxford University Press in 2014. This extensive book is composed by nine chapters in which Macbeth critically presents the development of mathematical practices in the Western world - from its founding in Ancient Greece's diagrammatic practices to the apogee of mathematical logic in the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries - while offering a revaluation of its present stage by means of a reconsideration of Gottlob Frege's philosophical contributions. In this review, we present (...) a summary of each chapter's contents and make general considerations about them. (shrink)