Demonstrative thought

Mind and Language 25 (2):169-195 (2010)

Abstract

In this paper I propose a model of demonstrative thought. I distinguish token-demonstratives, that pick out individuals, from type-demonstratives, that pick out kinds, or properties, and provide a similar treatment for both. I argue that it follows from my model of demonstrative thought, as well as from independent considerations, that demonstration, as a mental act, operates directly on mental representations, not external objects. That is, though the relation between a demonstrative and the object or property demonstrated is semantically direct, the mechanism by which a demonstrative acquires its referent involves mediation by a perceptual representation. Finally, I argue that so-called 'demonstrative concepts'—which I treat as type-demonstratives—cannot perform the various philosophical functions that have been assigned to them.

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References found in this work

The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.
The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.

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Citations of this work

Intention and Motor Representation in Purposive Action.Stephen Andrew Butterfill & Corrado Sinigaglia - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):119-145.
Concepts.Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A Theory of Perceptual Objects.E. J. Green - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):663-693.

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