Ideas of François Recanati, by Theme

[French, b.1952, Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris. Director of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.]

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5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / d. Singular terms
Mental files are the counterparts of singular terms
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 6. Identity between Objects
Identity statements are informative if they link separate mental files
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 1. Perceptual Realism / b. Direct realism
There is a continuum from acquaintance to description in knowledge, depending on the link
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 9. Indexical Thought
Indexicality is closely related to singularity, exploiting our direct relations with things
Indexicals apply to singular thought, and mental files have essentially indexical features
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 5. Mental Files
Expected acquaintance can create a thought-vehicle file, but without singular content
An 'indexed' file marks a file which simulates the mental file of some other person
Reference by mental files is Millian, in emphasising acquaintance, rather than satisfaction
The reference of a file is fixed by what it relates to, not the information it contains
There are transient 'demonstrative' files, habitual 'recognitional' files, cumulative 'encyclopedic' files
Files are hierarchical: proto-files, then first-order, then higher-order encyclopedic
A file has a 'nucleus' through its relation to the object, and a 'periphery' of links to other files
A mental file treats all of its contents as concerning one object
Files can be confused, if two files correctly have a single name, or one file has two names
Encylopedic files have further epistemic links, beyond the basic one
Singular thoughts need a mental file, and an acquaintance relation from file to object
18. Thought / C. Content / 1. Content
The content of thought is what is required to understand it (which involves hearers)
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 1. Concepts / a. Nature of concepts
Mental files are individual concepts (thought constituents)
19. Language / B. Reference / 1. Reference theories
There may be two types of reference in language and thought: descriptive and direct
19. Language / B. Reference / 3. Direct Reference / a. Direct reference
In super-direct reference, the referent serves as its own vehicle of reference
Direct reference is strong Millian (just a tag) or weak Kaplanian (allowing descriptions as well)
19. Language / B. Reference / 4. Descriptive Reference / a. Sense and reference
Sense determines reference says same sense/same reference; new reference means new sense
We need sense as well as reference, but in a non-descriptive form, and mental files do that
Sense is a mental file (not its contents); similar files for Cicero and Tully are two senses
19. Language / B. Reference / 4. Descriptive Reference / b. Reference by description
Problems with descriptivism are reference by perception, by communications and by indexicals
A rigid definite description can be attributive, not referential: 'the actual F, whoever he is….'
Singularity cannot be described, and it needs actual world relations
Descriptivism says we mentally relate to objects through their properties
Definite descriptions reveal either a predicate (attributive use) or the file it belongs in (referential)
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 5. Fregean Semantics
Fregean modes of presentation can be understood as mental files
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 9. Indexical Semantics
If two people think 'I am tired', they think the same thing, and they think different things
Indexical don't refer; only their tokens do
Indexicals (like mental files) determine their reference relationally, not by satisfaction
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 10. Two-Dimensional Semantics
In 2-D semantics, reference is determined, then singularity by the truth of a predication
Two-D semantics is said to help descriptivism of reference deal with singular objects
19. Language / D. Propositions / 3. Concrete Propositions
Russellian propositions are better than Fregean thoughts, by being constant through communication