English | 304 pages | ISBN-10: 0199659990 | PDF | 4.12 MB
Francois Recanati presents his theory of mental files
, a new way of understanding reference in language and thought. He aims to recast the "nondescriptivist" approach to reference that has dominated the philosophy of language and mind in the late twentieth century. According to Recanati, we refer through mental files
, which play the role of so-called "modes of presentation." The reference of linguistic expressions is inherited from that of the files
we associate with them. The reference of a file is determined relationally, not satisfactionally: so a file is not to be equated to the body of (mis)information it contains. Files
are like singular terms in the language of thought, with a nondescriptivist semantics.