Singularism vs Descriptivism

François Recanati

in Mental Files

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199659982
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745409 | DOI:
Singularism vs Descriptivism

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After a historical overview of the debate between Descriptivism and Singularism, it is shown that we need both a notion of sense or mode of presentation (as in Frege's work) and a notion of acquaintance (as in Russell's work) if we are to provide a satisfactory analysis of singular thought. Singular thought about an object involves non-descriptive ways of thinking of that object, that is, modes of presentation resting on acquaintance relations to the object.

Keywords: Russell; Frege; acquaintance; sense; descriptivism; non-descriptive modes of presentation; singular thought

Chapter.  4114 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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