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Talking About NothingNumbers, Hallucinations and Fictions$
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Jody Azzouni

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199738946

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738946.001.0001

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(p.23) 1 Numbers
Talking About Nothing

Jody Azzouni (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Our singular thinking about numbers (using numerals) is examined, and Tyler Burge’s attempt to read ontological commitments from those uses are rebuffed. It’s shown how our numerical thinking involves the involuntary thinking of numbers as objects; but it’s also shown that such involuntary object-directed thinking is compatible with our simultaneously recognizing that there are no actual objects involved. An important distinction is drawn between a word referringr to something and its referringe to something, where in the first case, referencer is a relation between the word and what it refers to; but in the second case, no such relation is involved. The aboutness intuitions are explored as a possible motivation for Meinongianism. In the light of the foregoing, the notion of empty singular thought is introduced and justified.

Keywords:   object-directed thinking, Tyler Burge, aboutness, singular thinking, Meinongianism, involuntary thought, empty singular thought, empty singular idioms

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