Cognitivism, Significance and Singular Thought

Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):236-260 (2016)
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This paper has a narrow and a broader target. The narrow target is a particular version of what I call the mental-files conception of singular thought, proposed by Robin Jeshion, and known as cognitivism. The broader target is the MFC in general. I give an argument against Jeshion's view, which gives us preliminary reason to reject the MFC more broadly. I argue Jeshion's theory of singular thought should be rejected because the central connection she makes between significance and singularity does not hold. However, my argument grants Jeshion's claim that there is a connection between significance and file-thinking. The upshot is not only that we have reason to reject Jeshion's significance constraint on singular thought, but that we have reason to question the connection made by MFC proponents between file-thinking and singularity.

Author's Profile

Rachel Goodman
University of Chicago (PhD)


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