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Andrea Bianchi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714088.001.0001

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Thinking about an Individual

Thinking about an Individual

Chapter:
(p.147) 7 Thinking about an Individual
Source:
On Reference
Author(s):

Antonio Capuano

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714088.003.0008

This chapter focuses on what it takes for someone to think about an individual, for instance Aristotle. It contrasts two different pictures of thinking about an individual, i.e., the inside-out and the outside-in pictures. The former picture can be traced back to some theses of Frege and Russell that, it is argued, are still popular in contemporary philosophy of mind. This chapter suggests that Donnellan and Kripke’s observations about the use of proper names and some common nouns put a lot of strain on the inside-out picture of cognition. Inspired by these observations, Capuano tries to offer an orthogonal approach to what it takes to think about an individual. In his view, thinking about an individual is analogous to perceiving an object. In both cases, an object comes to us by initiating an informational chain. Although the focus is cognition, the contrast between the inside-out and the outside-in picture has important consequences for understanding reference.

Keywords:   reference, thinking about, Frege-Russell, Donnellan, Kripke

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