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Quality and ContentEssays on Consciousness, Representation, and Modality$
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Joseph Levine

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198800088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198800088.001.0001

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Demonstrative Thought

Demonstrative Thought

(p.35) 2 Demonstrative Thought
Quality and Content

Joseph Levine

Oxford University Press

In this paper I develop a model of what it is to entertain a demonstrative thought, whether about an individual or a property. The primary question I investigate is the mechanism responsible for securing the referent of the demonstrative component of the thought. I characterize mechanisms of demonstrative reference for both token-demonstratives and type-demonstratives, drawing a distinction between genuine type-demonstratives and “quasi” type-demonstratives in the process. I then use the results of this discussion to criticize various philosophical uses of the notion of a demonstrative concept, including the “phenomenal concept strategy” for responding to challenges to materialism and the attempt to explain concept acquisition by appeal to demonstrative concepts.

Keywords:   Demonstrative, attention, phenomenal concept strategy, direct reference, demonstrative concept

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