De Re Thought, Object Identity, and Knowing-Wh*

Analytica (Rio) 16 (1-2):133-164 (2012)
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In this paper, I discuss a view of de re thoughts that can be naturally endorsed in the wake of Russell's account. This is the view that a thought is about the very thing (res) rather than a mere characterization of it if and only if it is constitutively tied, if not to the existence, at least to the identity of its object and the thinker knows which/who the object of his/her thought is. Faced with the challenge of accommodating far from uncommon cases of mistaken identity or substantial confusion on the part of the subject, I argue that the integrity of the view can be preserved and that the restrictions set on its truth by the advocates of the two-component picture and the anti-essentialists can be lifted.
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The Reference Book.Hawthorne, John & Manley, David
Imagination and the Self.Williams, Bernard

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