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New Essays on Singular Thought$
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Robin Jeshion

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199567881

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567881.001.0001

We are Acquainted with Ordinary Things *

Chapter:
(p.213) 7 We are Acquainted with Ordinary Things*
Source:
New Essays on Singular Thought
Author(s):

Imogen Dickie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567881.003.0008

To be ‘acquainted’ with a thing is to be in a position to think about it in virtue of a perceptual link, and without the use of any conceptual or descriptive way of identifying it. There are old arguments for the claim that we cannot be acquainted with ordinary material things. This chapter uses recent empirical results about perception to show how these arguments can be overturned. The chapter has three parts. The first summarizes the relevant results, the second uses these results to construct an account of acquaintance with ordinary things, and the third turns this account against objections to such proposals from claims about the possibility of perception‐based error.

Keywords:   acquaintance, demonstrative reference, attention, perception

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