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Singular Thought and Mental Files$
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Rachel Goodman, James Genone, and Nick Kroll

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746881

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198746881.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 March 2021

Singular Thought and Mental Files

Singular Thought and Mental Files

An Introduction

(p.1) 1 Singular Thought and Mental Files
Singular Thought and Mental Files

Rachel Goodman

James Genone

Oxford University Press

This introduction outlines some central challenges to a clear understanding of singular (or de re) thought, and illustrates why the literature has recently turned to the notion of a mental file as a way to theorize it. It sketches three central motivations behind the claim that singular thought is file-based thought. First, file-theorists have stressed that the descriptive information contained in a file does not determine its identity conditions or semantic content. Second, it is sometimes assumed that singular thoughts are devices of de jure coreference in thought and claimed that mental files are the cognitive reality of de jure coreference in thought. Finally, the file-theoretic approach to singular thought may seem to lend empirical respectability to the notion of singular thought. The chapter ends by?introducing some basic questions proponents of this approach must address if it is to fulfill its explanatory aims.

Keywords:   singular thought, de re thought, mental files, de jure coreference, reference

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