more from François Recanati

Single Idea 16348

[catalogued under 19. Language / B. Reference / 4. Descriptive Reference / b. Reference by description]

Full Idea

Descriptivism is the view that our mental relation to individual objects goes through properties of those objects. …This is so because our knowledge of objects is mediated by our knowledge of their properties.

Gist of Idea

Descriptivism says we mentally relate to objects through their properties


François Recanati (Mental Files [2012], 1.1)

Book Reference

Recanati,François: 'Mental Files' [OUP 2012], p.3

A Reaction

The implication is that if you view an object as just a bundle of properties, then you are obliged to hold a descriptive theory of reference. Hence a 'singularist' theory of reference seems to need a primitive notion of an object's identity.