Perspectival Thought: A Plea for (Moderate) Relativism by Francois RecanatiPerspectival Thought: A Plea for (Moderate) Relativism by Francois Recanati

Perspectival Thought: A Plea for (Moderate) Relativism

byFrancois Recanati

Paperback | October 4, 2007

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Our thought and talk are situated. They do not take place in a vacuum but always in a context, and they always concern an external situation relative to which they are to be evaluated. Since that is so, Francois Recanati argues, our linguistic and mental representations alike must be assignedtwo layers of content : the explicit content, or lekton, is relative and perspectival, while the complete content, which is absolute, involves contextual factors in addition to what is explicitly represented. Far from reducing to the context-independent meaning of the sentence-type or, in thepsychological realm, to the narrow content of mental representations, the lekton is a level intermediate between context-invariant meaning and full propositional content. Recognition of that intermediate level is the key to a proper understanding of context-dependence in language and thought. Going beyond the usual discussions of indexicality and unarticulated constituents in the philosophy of language, Recanati turns to the philosophy of mind for decisive arguments in favour of his approach. He shows, first, that the lekton is the notion of content we need if we are to properlyunderstand the relations between perception, memory, and imagination, and second, that the psychological mode is what determines the situation the lekton is relative to. In this framework he provides a detailed account of de se thought and the first person point of view. In the last part of thebook, Recanati discusses the special freedom we have, in discourse and thought, to shift the situation of evaluation. He traces that freeedom to a special mode the anaphoric mode which enables us to go beyond the egocentric stage of pre-human thought.
Francois Recanati is with CNRS, Paris.
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Title:Perspectival Thought: A Plea for (Moderate) RelativismFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.79 inPublished:October 4, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199230544

ISBN - 13:9780199230549

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Table of Contents

PART 1 : MODERATE RELATIVISM1. The framework1. The distribution of content2. Radical vs Moderate Relativism3. Two levels of content4. Branch points for Moderate Relativism2. The debate over temporalism (1) : Do we need temporal propositions?5. Modal vs extensional treatments of tense6. What is at stake?7. Modal and temporal innocence8. Temporal operators and temporal propositions in an extensional framework3. The debate over temporalism (2) : Can we believe temporal propositions ?9. An epistemic argument against temporalism10. Rebutting Richard's argument11. Relativistic disagreement4. Relativization and indexicality12. Index, context, and content13. The two-stage picture : Lewis vs Kaplan and Stalnaker14. Rescuing the two-stage picture15. Content, character, and cognitive significancePART 2 : EXPERIENCE AND SUBJECTIVITY5. Content and mode16. Duality and the fallacy of misplaced information17. The content of perceptual judgments18. Episodic memory6. Immunity to error through misidentification19. Implicit self-reference20. Weak and strong immunity21. Quasi-perception and quasi-memory22. Reflexive states7. Relativization and reflexivity23. The (alleged) reflexivity of de se thoughts24. Reflexivity : internal or external ?25. What is wrong with Reflexivism8. The first person point of view26. De se thoughts and subjectivity27. Memory and the imagination28. Imagination and the self29. Imagination, empathy, and the quasi-de sePART 3 : EGOCENTRICITY AND BEYOND9. Unarticulated constituents in the lekton ?30. The context-dependence of the lekton : how far can we go ?31. Unarticulatedness and the 'concerning' relation32. Three (alleged) arguments for the Externality Principle33. Invariance10. Self-relative thoughts34. The problem of the essential indexical35. Perry against relativized propositions36. Context-relativity37. Basic and nonbasic de se thoughts11. Shiftability38. The Generalized Reflexive Constraint39. Parametric invariance and m-shiftability40. Free shiftability41. The anaphoric mode : a Buhlerian perspectiveReferences

Editorial Reviews

.,."as always, Recanati has presented a work full of insights, important theoretical distinctions, and careful and detailed arguments, with a myriad of inspiring examples.... That's why Perspectival Thought is a must for anyone with interest in current and future debates in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind."--Kepa Korta, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews