I would like to thank two extremely helpful referees from Mind & Language for comments. Thanks also to audiences at the University of Manchester and the University of Sussex, to whom earlier versions of this article were presented.
Cognitivism: A New Theory of Singular Thought?
Article first published online: 1 JUN 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Mind & Language
Volume 27, Issue 3, pages 264–283, June 2012
How to Cite
SAWYER, S. (2012), Cognitivism: A New Theory of Singular Thought?. Mind & Language, 27: 264–283. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2012.01444.x
- Issue published online: 1 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 1 JUN 2012
In a series of recent articles, Robin Jeshion has developed a theory of singular thought which she calls ‘cognitivism’. According to Jeshion, cognitivism offers a middle path between acquaintance theories—which she takes to impose too strong a requirement on singular thought, and semantic instrumentalism—which she takes to impose too weak a requirement. In this article, I raise a series of concerns about Jeshion's theory, and suggest that the relevant data can be accommodated by a version of acquaintance theory that distinguishes unsuccessful thoughts of singular form from successful singular thoughts, and in addition allows for ‘trace-based’ acquaintance.