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AcquaintanceNew Essays$
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Jonathan Knowles and Thomas Raleigh

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803461

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803461.001.0001

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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: 19 January 2022

Principles of Acquaintance

Principles of Acquaintance

(p.227) 10 Principles of Acquaintance

Jessica Pepp

Oxford University Press

The thesis that in order to genuinely think about a particular object one must be (in some sense) acquainted with that object has been thoroughly explored since it was put forward by Bertrand Russell. Recently, the thesis has come in for mounting criticism. The aim of this chapter is to point out that neither the exploration nor the criticism have been sensitive to the fact that the thesis can be interpreted in two different ways, yielding two different principles of acquaintance. One principle uses the notion of content in distinguishing genuine thinking-about things from a merely derivative kind of thinking-about things. The other principle is quiet about content, focusing instead on a distinction between satisfactional and non-satisfactional means of bringing things into thought. I shall argue that the latter principle merits independent assessment as part of the broader effort to account for genuine thinking about particular objects.

Keywords:   acquaintance, singular thought, Bertrand Russell, content, satisfaction

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