A Plea for Moderate Relativism
By (author) Francois Recanati
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Perspectival Thought by Francois Recanati
Book DescriptionOur 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 assigned two 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 the psychological 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 properly understand the relations between perception, memory, and the 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 the book, Recanati discusses the special freedom we have, in discourse and thought, to shift the situation of evaluation. He traces that freedom to a special mode - the anaphoric mode - which enables us to go beyond the egocentric stage of pre-human thought.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199230532
(241mm x 162mm x 30mm)
Imprint: Clarendon Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 27-Sep-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Francois Recanati
Immunity to Error through Misidentification, Paperback (March 2014)
Devoted exclusively to the topic, this book analyses immunity to error through misidentification as an important feature of personal judgments.
Mental Files, Hardback (December 2012)
Francois Recanati presents his theory of mental files, a new way of understanding reference in language and thought. Linguistic expressions inherit their reference from the files that we associate with them, which are classified according to their function, which is to store information derived through certain types of relation to objects.
Perspectival Thought, Paperback (September 2007)
Francois Recanati presents a ground-breaking study of the context-dependence of our language and thought. He argues that our linguistic and mental representations alike must be assigned two layers of content: the explicit content, which is relative and perspectival, and the complete content, which is absolute and involves contextual factors.
Literal Meaning, Paperback (December 2003)» View all books by Francois Recanati
A provocative contribution to the current debate about the best delimitation of semantics and pragmatics.
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Author Biography - Francois Recanati
Francois Recanati is Director of Research, CNRS (Institut Jean-Nicod), and Arche Professorial Fellow, University of St Andrews.
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