Singular Reference Without Singular Thought

Manuscrito 39 (1):33-60 (2016)
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Abstract
In this paper I challenge the widespread assumption that the conditions for singular reference are more or less the same as the conditions for singular thought. I claim that we refer singularly to things without thinking singularly about them more often than it is usually believed. I first argue that we should take the idea that singular thought is non-descriptive thought very seriously. If we do that, it seems that we cannot be so liberal about what counts as acquaintance; only perception will do. I also briefly discuss and reject semantic instrumentalism. Finally, I argue that while singular reference is cheap, singular thought comes only at a price.
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Archival date: 2016-08-23
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2016-06-21

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