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Abstract: Suppose your conscious life were surgically excised, but everything else left intact, what would you miss? In this situation you would not have the slightest idea what was going on. You would have no idea what there is in the world around you; what the grounds are of the potentialities and threats are that you are negotiating. Experience of your surroundings provides you with knowledge of what is there: with your initial base of knowledge of what the things are that you are thinking and talking about. But this connection between consciousness of the objects and properties around you, and knowledge of the references of the basic terms you use, has proven difficult to articulate. The connection cannot be recognized so long as you think of consciousness as a kind of glow with which representations are accompanied or enlivened. It is, though, also possible to think of perceptual experience as fundamentally a relation between the subject and the things experienced; and given such a conception, we can make visible the link between consciousness and reference
Abstract: When I was revising _Sensory Qualities_ there was a period of about a year when I set the manuscript aside and did other things. When I returned to it I found that certain portions of the argument had collapsed of their own weight, like an old New England barn, and could be carted off the premises without compunction. Other parts were wobbling on their foundation, while some had weathered well and seemed nice and solid. My revision strategy was simple: I kept just the nice solid bits, thinking that I could go back and work on the wobbly portions later
Abstract: This paper explores some problems with Gareth Evans’s theory of the fundamental and non-fundamental levels of thought . I suggest a way to reconceive the levels of thought that overcomes these problems. But, first, why might anyone who was not already struck by Evans’s remarkable theory care about these issues? What’s at stake here?
Abstract: The answer I shall sketch is not mine. Nor, as far as I can tell, is it an answer to be found in the voluminous literature inspired by Kripke’s work. Many of the elements of the answer are to be found in the writings of Wittgenstein and his Austro-German predecessors, Martinak, Husserl, Marty, Landgrebe and Bühler. Within this Austro-German tradition we may distinguish between a strand which is Platonist and anti-naturalist and a strand which is nominalist and naturalist. Thus Husserl’s account of what he calls “directly referring” uses of singular terms invokes senses or individual concepts, albeit simple, not descriptive senses. But the account of reference fixing and reference given by Landgrebe, Bühler and Wittgenstein rejects senses.1 I confine further reference to these writers to footnotes since my aim here is to develop and unify some of their suggestions, in particular by comparing them with more recent work (cf. Mulligan 1997)