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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: 25 February 2021

The Mental Files Theory of Singular Thought

The Mental Files Theory of Singular Thought

A Psychological Perspective

(p.107) 6 The Mental Files Theory of Singular Thought
Singular Thought and Mental Files

Michael Murez

Joulia Smortchkova

Brent Strickland

Oxford University Press

The chapter outlines and evaluates the most ambitious version of the mental files theory of singular thought, according to which mental files are a wide-ranging psychological natural kind, including psychologists’ object-files as a representative subspecies, and underlying all and only singular thinking. It argues that such a theory is unsupported by the available psychological data, and that its defenders may have overestimated the similarities between different notions of “file” used in philosophy and cognitive science. Nevertheless, critical examination of the theory from a psychological perspective opens up promising avenues for research, especially concerning the relationship between our perceptual capacity to individuate and track basic individuals and our higher-level capacities for singular thought.

Keywords:   object-files, event-files, concepts, singular thought, attention, working memory, psychological kinds, mental files

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