9780199659999

Mental Files

  • ISBN 13:

    9780199659999

  • ISBN 10:

    0199659990

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 01/06/2013
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.)

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Summary

Fran├žois Recanati attempts to recast the 'nondescriptivist' approach to reference that has dominated the philosophy of language and mind in the late twentieth-century in terms of mental files. According to Recanati, we refer through mental files, which play the role of so-called 'modes of presentation'. The reference of linguistic expressions is inherited from that of the files we associate with them. The reference of a file is determined relationally, notsatisfactionally: so a file is not to be equated to the body of (mis-)information it contains. Files are like singular terms in the language of thought, with a nondescriptivist semantics. In contrast to other philosophers, Recanati offers an indexical model according to which files are typed by theirfunction, which is to store information derived through certain types of relation to objects in the environment. The type of the file corresponds to the type of contextual relation it exploits. Even detached files or 'encyclopedia entries' are based on epistemically rewarding relations to their referent, on Recanati's account.

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