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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: 08 March 2021

Singular Thoughts

Singular Thoughts

(p.143) 7 Singular Thoughts
Singular Thought and Mental Files

John Perry

Oxford University Press

There seem to be good reasons for recognizing singular thought: thoughts that are about particular objects. It seems that singular propositions capture the truth-conditions of such thoughts; that is, propositions individuated by objects and not senses, intensions, descriptions, or even names. But then how do we handle cases where a person regards “Cicero was an orator” as true but regards “Tully was an orator” as false? She seems to believe and disbelieve the same singular proposition. The chapter argues that we need to “unburden” propositions. Beliefs are episodes that have truth-conditions that can be captured by a variety of propositions, and the propositions that “that” clauses refer to don’t capture everything relevant to understanding the belief. I provide some concepts and terminology for implementing these lower expectations for propositions.

Keywords:   propositions, thoughts, episodes, ideas, attached and detached notions, truth-conditions, hybrid truth-conditions

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