Epistemic acquaintance

John Hawthorne and David Manley

in The Reference Book

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693672
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739002 | DOI:
Epistemic acquaintance

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This chapter considers two general approaches to epistemic acquaintance are considered. The first builds on the idea that discriminability—of objects, thoughts, or truth-conditions—is necessary for singular thought. In this category we focus on the well-known view of Gareth Evans, which fleshes out what he calls Russell’s Principle: ‘to have a singular thought about an object, one must know which object one is thinking about.’ On the second kind of approach, singular thought requires only knowing the existence of the object of thought. The authors argue that neither approach provides a plausible condition on reference or singular thought.

Keywords: epistemic acquaintance; discrimination; knowing which; Gareth Evans; Russell’s Principle

Chapter.  11678 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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