Chapter

Reference through Mental Files: Indexicals and Definite Descriptions

François Recanati

in Mental Files

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199659982
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745409 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659982.003.0017
Reference through Mental Files: Indexicals and Definite Descriptions

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The communication of singular thoughts is said to proceed through a general mechanism: the linguistic evocation of mental files via elements of their content. The issue arises whether that mechanism is semantic or pragmatic. In dealing with this issue, the two standard approaches to the referential use of definite descriptions are discussed, and a new, Millian approach put forward.

Keywords: singular thought; communication; indexicals; definite descriptions; reference through mental files; referential/attributive; semantics/pragmatics; millianism

Chapter.  6312 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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