- This paper discusses and criticizes Segal’s 1989 argument against singular object-dependent thoughts. His argument aims at showing that object-dependent thoughts are explanatorily redundant.
- My criticism of Segal’s argument has two parts.
- First, I appeal to common anti-individualist arguments to the effect that Segal’s type of argument only succeeds in establishing that object-dependent thoughts are explanatorily redundant for those aspects of subjects’ behaviour that do not require reference to external objects.
- Secondly, Segal’s view on singular thoughts is at odds with his view on the semantics of proper names, which favours the singularity and object-dependency of the truth-conditions of sentences in which they occur. In particular, his views are at odds with a position he holds, that truth-conditional semantics can adequately account for all aspects of speakers’ linguistic competence in the use of proper names.
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- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2021
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