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Mental Files

François Recanati


This book attempts to recast the ‘nondescriptivist’ approach to reference that has dominated the philosophy of language and mind in the late twentieth-century in terms of mental files. According to this book, we refer through mental files, which play the role of so-called ‘modes of presentation’. The reference of linguistic expressions is inherited from that of the files we associate with them. The reference of a file is determined relationally, not satisfactionally; so a file is not to be equated to the body of (mis-)information it contains. Files are like singular terms in the language of th ... More

Keywords: mental files, singular thought, indexicality, sense and reference, concepts, acquaintance, descriptivism, cognitive dynamics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199659982
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659982.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

François Recanati, author
Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris