Consciousness and Reference

John Campbell

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199262618
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Consciousness and Reference

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Russell was the first to articulate the connection between consciousness and a recognizably modern conception of reference, using his notion of acquaintance. The idea of ‘acquaintance’ is the idea of a kind of epistemic contact with a thing or property. Many theorists would agree that reference to something requires a particular kind of epistemic contact with it. Yet you might agree that the notion of ‘epistemic contact with a particular’ is needed to characterize reference, while arguing that epistemic contact is to be explained as possession of a body of propositional knowledge.

Keywords: notion of acquaintance; consciousness; reference; epistemic contact; propositional knowledge; knowledge of truth

Article.  7788 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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