SOPhiA 2022

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Thinking Without Discriminating
(Philosophy of Language, English)

According to Kripke, Donnellan and their allies, for any subject s and entity e, it is possible for s to think of e even if s is not able to uniquely individuate e. The most influential way of resisting this view relies on the following two-pronged strategy: (i) it devises a way of explaining away the Kripke-Donnellan style intuitions that s is able to refer to e without being able to individuate e. (ii) It develops a program for explaining why reference requires unique individuation of the referent. Most of the arguments against this program are question-begging in that they merely repeat, or crucially assume, the intuitions that are already being explained away by the first prong. I argue that (ii) fails even if we accept (i). I discuss the main arguments for why reference requires unique individuation and show that these arguments are of two general types. The first type implicitly assumes that reference requires unique individuation and thus is unsuccessful. The second type does not rely on this assumption but it only supports a much weaker claim. Finally, I go on to propose a general account of reference.


Chair: Teresa Flera
Time: 10:40-11:10, 08 September 2022 (Thursday)
Location: SR 1.007

Ayoob Shahmoradi 
(University of California San Diego, USA)



Testability and Meaning deco