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Keeping (Direct) Reference in Mind


  • Thanks to Marc Moffett for commentary on an ancestor of this paper that was presented at the Pacific APA, to David Braun for helpful questions and conversation, and to an audience at Carleton University, where I presented a version of the paper much closer to its final state. My sincere gratitude to an anonymous referee for helpful suggestions regarding philosophical content and for pushing me to clean up the presentation.


This paper explores the psychological analogues of a cluster of arguments that have played an important role in motivating a now widespread, reference-based approach in philosophy of language. What I will call the psychological analogues of Kripke-style arguments provide a substantial motivation for a reference-based approach to concepts. Insofar as such an approach is rarely given serious consideration, the availability of these arguments suggests the need for a rethinking of some foundational assumptions in philosophy of mind and other branches of the cognitive sciences.