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The Sense of Communication

Mind 104 (413):79 - 106 (1995)

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  1. Desires, Descriptivism, and Reference Failure.Alexander Hughes - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):279-296.
    I argue that mental descriptivism cannot be reasonably thought superior to rival theories on the grounds that it can (while they cannot) provide an elegant account of reference failure. Descriptivism about the particular-directed intentionality of our mental states fails when applied to desires. Consider, for an example, the desire that Satan not tempt me. On the descriptivist account, it looks like my desire would be fulfilled in conditions in which there exists exactly one thing satisfying some description only Satan satisfies (...)
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  • Justification and Ways of Believing.Heimir Geirsson - 2002 - Disputatio 1 (12):1 - 11.
    One of the issues that has been hotly discussed in connection with the direct designation theory is whether or not coreferential names can be substituted salva veritate in epistemic contexts. Some direct designation theorists believe that they can be so substituted. Some direct designation theorists and all Fregeans and neo-Fregeans believe that they cannot be so substituted. Fregeans of various stripes have used their intuition against free substitution to argue against the direct designation theory. Some direct designation theorists have used (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Disagreement.Víctor M. Verdejo - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (37):283-297.
    Verdejo, Víctor_A Puzzle about Disagreement.
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  • Précis.Berit Brogaard - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (37):311-314.
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  • Frege on Identity and Identity-Statements: A Reply to Thau and Caplan.Richard Heck - 2003 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):83-102.
    The paper argues, as against Thau and Caplan, that the traditional interpretation that Frege abandoned his earlier views about identity and identity--statements is correct.
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  • Must Differences in Cognitive Value Be Transparent?Sanford Goldberg - 2008 - Erkenntnis 69 (2):165-187.
    Frege’s ‘differential dubitability’ test is a test for differences in cognitive value: if one can rationally believe that p while simultaneously doubting that q, then the contents p and q amount to different ‘cognitive values’. If subject S is rational, does her simultaneous adoption of different attitudes towards p and q require that the difference between p and q(as cognitive values) be transparent to her? It is natural to think so. But I argue that, if attitude anti-individualism is true, then (...)
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  • Relational Approaches to Frege's Puzzle.Aidan Gray - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12429.
    Frege's puzzle is a fundamental challenge for accounts of mental and linguistic representation. This piece surveys a family of recent approaches to the puzzle that posit representational relations. I identify the central commitments of relational approaches and present several arguments for them. I also distinguish two kinds of relationism—semantic relationism and formal relationism—corresponding to two conceptions of representational relations. I briefly discuss the consequences of relational approaches for foundational questions about propositional attitudes, intentional explanation, and compositionality.
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  • Solving Frege's Puzzle.Richard Heck - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (1-2):132-174.
    So-called 'Frege cases' pose a challenge for anyone who would hope to treat the contents of beliefs (and similar mental states) as Russellian propositions: It is then impossible to explain people's behavior in Frege cases without invoking non-intentional features of their mental states, and doing that seems to undermine the intentionality of psychological explanation. In the present paper, I develop this sort of objection in what seems to me to be its strongest form, but then offer a response to it. (...)
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  • Pierre’s Rational and Public Beliefs.Victor Verdejo - 2013 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 16 (3):451-469.
    Paradigmatic cases of disagreement seem not to be compatible with a widespread kind of solution to Kripke’s celebrated Pierre puzzle. As a result, the classical puzzle about rational belief is shown to be also a puzzle about public disagreement/agreement phenomena. In this paper, I defend that the new public version of the puzzle is substantial and challenging and conclude that a full solution to Kripke’s considerations must offer a satisfactory account of both the rational and public character of belief attributions. (...)
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  • “Paderewski” y el problema del valor cognoscitivo en Frege.Ignacio Vicario Arjona - 2002 - Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 27 (2):361-387.
    The paper examines Frege’s argument based on the problem of cognitive value. This argument is opposed to Millian semantics on proper names and sustains Frege’s owns proposal. I point out a general flaw in the argument and elucidate the difficulty embodied by the ‘Paderewski’ example. I also defend the relevance of the example from a contention suggested in a recent paper by David Sosa.
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  • Do Demonstratives Have Senses?Richard Heck - 2002 - Philosophers' Imprint 2:1-33.
    Frege held that referring expressions in general, and demonstratives and indexicals in particular, contribute more than just their reference to what is expressed by utterances of sentences containing them. Heck first attempts to get clear about what the essence of the Fregean view is, arguing that it rests upon a certain conception of linguistic communication that is ultimately indefensible. On the other hand, however, he argues that understanding a demonstrative (or indexical) utterance requires one to think of the object denoted (...)
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  • Frege's Principle.Richard Heck - 1995 - In J. Hintikka (ed.), From Dedekind to Gödel: Essays on the Development of the Foundations of Mathematics. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    This paper explores the relationship between Hume's Prinicple and Basic Law V, investigating the question whether we really do need to suppose that, already in Die Grundlagen, Frege intended that HP should be justified by its derivation from Law V.
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  • Frege and the Paradox of Analysis.Michael Nelson - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (2):159-181.
    In an unpublished manuscript of 1914 titled ‘Logic in mathematics’, Gottlob Frege offered a rich account of the paradox of analysis. I argue that Frege there claims that the explicandum and explicans of a successful analysis express the same sense and that he furthermore appreciated that this requires that one cannot conclude that two sentences differ in sense simply because it is possible for a (minimally) competent speaker to accept one without accepting the other. I claim that this is shown (...)
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  • Communication and Knowledge: Rejoinder to Byrne and Thau.Richard Heck - 1996 - Mind 105 (417):151 - 156.
    A reply to Byrne and Thau's criticisms of "The Sense of Communiction".
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  • Use and Meaning.Richard Heck - 2007 - In R. E. Auxier & L. E. Hahn (eds.), The Philosophy of Michael Dummett. Open Court. pp. 531--57.
    Many philosophers have been attracted to the idea that meaning is, in some way or other, determined by use—chief among them, perhaps, Michael Dummett. But John McDowell has argued that Dummett, and anyone else who would seek to draw serious philosophical conclusions from this claim, must face a dilemma: Either the use of a sentence is characterized in terms of what it can be used to say, in which case profound philosophical consequences can hardly follow, or it will be impossible (...)
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  • Meaning and Truth-Conditions.Richard Heck - 2007 - In D. Greimann & G. Siegwart (eds.), Truth and Speech Acts: Studies in the Philosophy of Language. Routledge. pp. 349--76.
    Defends the view that understanding can be identified with knowledge of T-sentences against the classical criticisms of Foster and Soames.
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  • Intuition and the Substitution Argument.Richard Heck - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (1):1-30.
    The 'substitution argument' purports to demonstrate the falsity of Russellian accounts of belief-ascription by observing that, e.g., these two sentences: (LC) Lois believes that Clark can fly. (LS) Lois believes that Superman can fly. could have different truth-values. But what is the basis for that claim? It seems widely to be supposed, especially by Russellians, that it is simply an 'intuition', one that could then be 'explained away'. And this supposition plays an especially important role in Jennifer Saul's defense of (...)
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  • Accidentally About Me.Daniel Morgan - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1085-1115.
    Why are de se mental states essential? What exactly is their de se-ness needed to do? I argue that it is needed to fend off accidentalness. If certain beliefs – for example, nociceptive, proprioceptive or introspective beliefs – were not de se, then any truth they achieved would be too accidental for the subject to count as knowing. If certain intentions – intentions that are in play whenever we intentionally do anything – were not de se, then any satisfaction they (...)
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  • The Publicity of Thought.Andrea Onofri - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272).
    An influential tradition holds that thoughts are public: different thinkers share many of their thoughts, and the same applies to a single subject at different times. This ‘publicity principle’ has recently come under attack. Arguments by Mark Crimmins, Richard Heck and Brian Loar seem to show that publicity is inconsistent with the widely accepted principle that someone who is ignorant or mistaken about certain identity facts will have distinct thoughts about the relevant object—for instance, the astronomer who does not know (...)
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  • Replies to Matthen, Weiskopf and Wikforss.Christopher Gauker - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):121-131.
    This article consists of replies to three commentaries on the book, Words and Images: An Essay on the Origin of Ideas (Oxford 2011).
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  • Epistemic Modality De Re.Seth Yalcin - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2:475-527.
    Focusing on cases which involve binding into epistemic modals with definite descriptions and quantifiers, I raise some new problems for standard approaches to all of these expressions. The difficulties are resolved in a semantic framework that is dynamic in character. I close with a new class of problems about de re readings within the scope of modals.
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  • What is Communicative Success?Peter Pagin - 2008 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (1):pp. 85-115.
    Suppose we have an idea of what counts as communication, more precisely as a communicative event. Then we have the further task of dividing communicative events into successful and unsuccessful. Part of this task is to find a basis for this evaluation, i.e. appropriate properties of speaker and hearer. It is argued that success should be evaluated in terms of a relation between thought contents of speaker and hearer. This view is labelled ‘classical’, since it is justifiably attributable to both (...)
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  • Language Understanding and Knowledge of Meaning.Mitchell Green - unknown - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5:4.
    In recent years the view that understanding a language requires knowing what its words and expressions mean has come under attack. One line of attack attempts to show that while knowledge can be undermined by Gettier-style counterexamples, language understanding cannot be. I consider this line of attack, particularly in the work of Pettit and Longworth, and show it to be unpersuasive. I stress, however, that maintaining a link between language understanding and knowledge does not itself vindicate a cognitivist view of (...)
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  • Indexical Thought: The Communication Problem.François Recanati - 2015 - In Manuel Garcia-Carpintero & Stehpan Torre (eds.), About Oneself. pp. 141-178.
    What characterizes indexical thinking is the fact that the modes of presentation through which one thinks of objects are context-bound and perspectival. Such modes of presentation, I claim, are mental files presupposing that we stand in certain relations to the reference : the role of the file is to store information one can gain in virtue of standing in that relation to the object. This raises the communication problem, first raised by Frege : if indexical thoughts are context-bound and relation-based, (...)
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  • Some Models of Linguistic Understanding.Guy Longworth - 2009 - The Baltic International Yearbook 5 (1):7.
    I discuss the conjecture that understanding what is said in an utterance is to be modelled as knowing what is said in that utterance. My main aim is to present a number of alter- native models, as a prophylactic against premature acceptance of the conjecture as the only game in town. I also offer preliminary assessments of each of the models, including the propositional knowledge model, in part by considering their respective capacities to sub-serve the transmission of knowledge through testimony. (...)
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  • Idiolects.Richard Heck - 2006 - In Judith Jarvis Thomson & Alex Byrne (eds.), Content and Modality: Themes From the Philosophy of Robert Stalnaker. Oxford University Press.
    Defends the view that the study of language should concern itself, primarily, with idiolects. The main objections considered are forms of the normativity objection.
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  • Fregean Versus Kripkean Reference.Manuel Garcia-Carpintero - 1998 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):21-44.
    n this paper I take up these proposals, giving reasons to incorporate semantic features associated with proper names over and above their referent in any (genuine) semantic account of natural language. I also argue that my proposal is compatible with the main points made in Naming and Necessity, by contending that not Millianism but externalism was the claim most forcefully argued for in that impressive piece of work.
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  • Knowledge-Yielding Communication.Andrew Peet - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3303-3327.
    A satisfactory theory of linguistic communication must explain how it is that, through the interpersonal exchange of auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli, the communicative preconditions for the acquisition of testimonial knowledge regularly come to be satisfied. Without an account of knowledge-yielding communication this success condition for linguistic theorizing is left opaque, and we are left with an incomplete understanding of testimony, and communication more generally, as a source of knowledge. This paper argues that knowledge-yielding communication should be modelled on knowledge (...)
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  • Can You Seek the Answer to This Question? (Meno in India).Amber Carpenter & Jonardon Ganeri - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):571-594.
    Plato articulates a deep perplexity about inquiry in ?Meno's Paradox??the claim that one can inquire neither into what one knows, nor into what one does not know. Although some commentators have wrestled with the paradox itself, many suppose that the paradox of inquiry is special to Plato, arising from peculiarities of the Socratic elenchus or of Platonic epistemology. But there is nothing peculiarly Platonic in this puzzle. For it arises, too, in classical Indian philosophical discussions, where it is formulated with (...)
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  • Russellianism and Explanation.David Braun - 2001 - Noûs 35 (s15):253-289.
    Many philosophers think that the Substitution Objection decisively refutes Russellianism. This objection claims that sentences (1) and (2) can differ in truth value. Therefore, it says, the sentences express different propositions, and so Russellianism is false.
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  • How Proper Names Refer.Imogen Dickie - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (1pt1):43-78.
    This paper develops a new account of reference-fixing for proper names. The account is built around an intuitive claim about reference fixing: the claim that I am a participant in a practice of using α to refer to o only if my uses of α are constrained by the representationally relevant ways it is possible for o to behave. §I raises examples that suggest that a right account of how proper names refer should incorporate this claim. §II provides such an (...)
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  • The Dynamics and Communication of Concepts.Simon James Prosser - unknown
    The central claim of this thesis is that concepts, the components from which cognitively significant truth evaluable content (thought) is composed, are unstructured entities an account of whose individuation makes no essential reference to other concepts in the possession of the thinking subject or to any particular means by which the reference of the concept is identified by the thinking subject. This position is called Conceptual Atomism and contrasts with Inferential Role Semantics, according to which concepts are individuated by their (...)
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  • Understanding What Was Said.Guy Longworth - 2016 - Synthese 195 (2):815-834.
    On the most prominent account, understanding what was said is always propositional knowledge of what was said. I develop a more minimal alternative, according to which understanding is sometimes a distinctive attitude towards what was said—to a first approximation, entertaining what was said. The propositional knowledge account has been supported on the basis of its capacity to explain testimonial knowledge transmission. I argue that it is not so supported.
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  • Sense, Communication, and Rational Engagement.Imogen Dickie & Gurpreet Rattan - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (2):131-151.
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  • Communication and Indexical Reference.Jonas Åkerman - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (3):355 - 366.
    In the debate over what determines the reference of an indexical expression on a given occasion of use, we can distinguish between two generic positions. According to the first, the reference is determined by internal factors, such as the speaker’s intentions. According to the second, the reference is determined by external factors, like conventions or what a competent and attentive audience would take the reference to be. It has recently been argued that the first position is untenable, since there are (...)
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  • Referential Intentions and Communicative Luck.Andrew Peet - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):379-384.
    Brian Loar [1976] observed that communicative success with singular terms requires more than correct referent assignment. For communicative success to be achieved, the audience must assign the right referent in the right way. Loar, and others since, took this to motivate Fregean accounts of the semantics of singular terms. Ray Buchanan [2014] has recently responded, maintaining that, although Loar is correct to claim that communicative success with singular terms requires more than correct referent assignment, this is compatible with direct reference (...)
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  • Proper Names: Ideas and Chains.Josep Macià - 2004 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (sup1):129-155.
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  • Reference, Understanding, and Communication.Ray Buchanan - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy (1):1-16.
    Brian Loar [1976] observed that, even in the simplest of cases, such as an utterance of (1): ‘He is a stockbroker’, a speaker's audience might misunderstand her utterance even if they correctly identify the referent of the relevant singular term, and understand what is being predicated of it. Numerous theorists, including Bezuidenhout [1997], Heck [1995], Paul [1999], and Récanati [1993, 1995], have used Loar's observation to argue against direct reference accounts of assertoric content and communication, maintaining that, even in these (...)
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  • On Successful Communication, Intentions and False Beliefs.Matheus Valente - forthcoming - Theoria.
    I discuss a criterion for successful communication between a speaker and a hearer put forward by Buchanan according to which there is communicative success only if the hearer entertains, as a result of interpreting the speaker's utterance, a thought that has the same truth conditions as the thought asserted by the speaker and, furthermore, does so in virtue of recognizing the speaker's communicative intentions. I argue, against Buchanan, that the data on which it is based are compatible with a view (...)
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  • Name-Bearing, Reference, and Circularity.Aidan Gray - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):207-231.
    Proponents of the predicate view of names explain the reference of an occurrence of a name N by invoking the property of bearing N. They avoid the charge that this view involves a vicious circularity by claiming that bearing N is not itself to be understood in terms of the reference of actual or possible occurrences of N. I argue that this approach is fundamentally mistaken. The phenomenon of ‘reference transfer’ shows that an individual can come to bear a name (...)
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  • Understanding Semantic Coordination in Cognition.Gurpreet Rattan - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (3):289-313.
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  • Shared Modes of Presentation.Simon Prosser - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (4):465-482.
    What is it for two people to think of an object, natural kind or other entity under the same mode of presentation (MOP)? This has seemed a particularly difficult question for advocates of the Mental Files approach, the Language of Thought, or other ‘atomistic’ theories. In this paper I propose a simple answer. I first argue that, by parallel with the synchronic intrapersonal case, the sharing of a MOP should involve a certain kind of epistemic transparency between the token thoughts (...)
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  • Loar’s Puzzle, Similarity, and Knowledge of Reference.Andrea Onofri - 2019 - Manuscrito 42 (2):1-45.
    In ‘The Semantics of Singular Terms’ (1976) Brian Loar proposed a famous case where a hearer seems to misunderstand an utterance even though he has correctly identified its referent. Loar’s case has been used to defend a model of communication where speaker and hearer must think of the referent in similar ways in order for communication to succeed. This ‘Similar Ways of Thinking’ (SW) theory is extremely popular, both in the literature on Loar cases and in other philosophical discussions. My (...)
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  • Recanati on Communication of First‐Person Thoughts.Sajed Tayebi - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):210-218.
    In this paper, I will provide a counterexample to Recanati's account of first-person communication (1995, 2010, 2012). In particular, I will show that Recanati's constraints are not sufficient for the success of first-person communication. My argument against Recanati's account is parallel to Recanati's argument against neo-Russellian accounts, and shows that the same problem resurfaces even in the presence of linguistically encoded mode of presentation in a neo-Fregean framework of mental files.
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  • Linguistic Understanding and Knowledge.Guy Longworth - 2008 - Noûs 42 (1):50–79.
    Is linguistic understanding a form of knowledge? I clarify the question and then consider two natural forms a positive answer might take. I argue that, although some recent arguments fail to decide the issue, neither positive answer should be accepted. The aim is not yet to foreclose on the view that linguistic understanding is a form of knowledge, but to develop desiderata on a satisfactory successor to the two natural views rejected here.
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  • Tacit Knowledge of Grammar: A Reply to Knowles.Gurpreet Rattan - 2002 - Philosophical Psychology 15 (2):135 – 154.
    I defend the non-cognitivist outlook on knowledge of grammar from the criticisms levelled against it by Jonathan Knowles. The first part of the paper is largely critical. First, I argue that Knowles's argument against Christopher Peacocke and Martin Davies's non-cognitivist account of the psychological reality of grammar fails, and thus that no reason has been given to think that cognitivism is integral to an understanding of Chomskyan theoretical linguistics. Second, I argue that cognitivism is philosophically problematic. In particular, I argue (...)
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  • Sense, Communication, and Rational Engagement.Gurpreet Rattan Imogen Dickie - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (2):131-151.
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