Synthese 199 (1-2):2863-2882 (2020)

James Openshaw
Centre for Philosophy of Memory, Université Grenoble Alpes
The notorious problem of the many makes it difficult to resist the conclusion that almost coincident with any ordinary object are a vast number of near-indiscernible objects. As Unger was aware in his presentation of the problem, this abundance raises a concern as to how—and even whether—we achieve singular thought about ordinary objects. This paper presents, clarifies, and defends a view which reconciles a plenitudinous conception of ordinary objects with our having singular thoughts about those objects. Indeed, this strategy has independent application in the case of singular thoughts about other putatively ‘abundant’ phenomena, such as locations or lumps of matter. In essence, singular thought-vehicles need not express just one singular content. If there are many objects, one’s singular thought-vehicle may express as many thought-contents.
Keywords Singular thought  Reference  Problem of the many  Ordinary objects
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-02904-9
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References found in this work BETA

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - London and New York: Routledge.
Reference and Consciousness.J. Campbell - 2002 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Turning Aboutness About.Alexander Sandgren - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (1):136-155.
Thought and Talk in a Generous World.Alexander Sandgren - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.

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