Loar’s puzzle, similarity, and knowledge of reference
Palavras-chave:Communication, Reference, Singular terms, Similarity, Knowledge.
In ‘The Semantics of Singular Terms’ (1976) Brian Loar proposed a famous case where a hearer seems to misunderstand an utterance even though he has correctly identified its referent. Loar’s case has been used to defend a model of communication where speaker and hearer must think of the referent in similar ways in order for communication to succeed. This ‘Similar Ways of Thinking’ (SW) theory is extremely popular, both in the literature on Loar
cases and in other philosophical discussions. My goal is to offer a novel argument against this influential model of communication and propose an alternative picture. First, I show how a certain version of SW fails to solve Loar’s puzzle. Then I point at a more general problem with SW, arguing that no version of this model can account for Loar-style cases without making the conditions for communication too strict. I then propose an alternative account of Loar cases,
analyzing them as cases of luck where the hearer does not know that she has identified the referent correctly. I conclude by contrasting my view with other existing accounts of Loar cases.
 Armstrong, D. M. Belief, Truth, and Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973.
 Bach, K. What does it take to refer?. In E. Lepore and B. Smith (eds.), (2006), pp. 516-54.
 Bezuidenhout, A. The communication of de re thoughts. Noûs, 31/2, pp. 197-225, 1997.
 Block, N. Holism, hyper-analyticity and hyper-compositionality. Philosophical Issues, 3, pp. 37-72, 1993.
 Block, N. Holism, mental and semantic. in E. Craig (ed.), (1998).
 Braun, D. Understanding belief reports. Philosophical Review, 107/4, pp. 555-95, 1998.
 Buchanan, R. Reference, understanding, and communication. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 92/1, pp. 55-70, 2014.
 Burge, T. Belief De Re. The Journal of Philosophy, 74/6, pp. 338-362, 1977.
 Burge, T. Individualism and the mental. Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 4/1, pp. 73-122, 1979.
 Chalmers, D. The components of content. In D. Chalmers (ed.) (2002), pp. 608-33.
 Chalmers, D. Propositions and attitude ascriptions: a fregean account. Noûs, 45/4, pp. 595- 639, 2011.
 Chalmers, D. (ed.) Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
 Craig, E. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge, 1998.
 Cumming, S. From coordination to content. Philosophers’ Imprint, 13/4, pp. 1-16, 2013.
 Dickie, I. and Rattan, G. Sense, communication and rational engagement. dialectica, 64/2, pp. 131-51, 2010.
 Duhau, L. The myth of concept publicity. Ideas y Valores, 148, pp. 101-13, 2012.
 Fine, K. Semantic relationism. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007.
 Fodor, J. A. Concepts: where cognitive science went wrong. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
 Fodor, J. A. LOT 2: the language of thought revisited. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
 Fodor, J. A. and Lepore, E. (eds.) Holism: a consumer update. Grazer Philosophische Studien, 46, 1993.
 Frege, G. On sense and nominatum, 1892. Transl. by H. Feigl. In A. P. Martinich (ed.), The Philosophy of Language, 3rd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 186-98.
 Frege, G. The thought, 1918-19. Transl. by A. M. and Marcelle Quinton. In Mind 65/259, pp. 287-311, 1956.
 Harman, G. Meaning holism defended. In J. A. Fodor and E. Lepore (eds.), (1993), pp. 163-71.
 Heck, R. The sense of communication. Mind, 104/413, pp. 79-106, 1995.
 Heck, R. Do demonstratives have senses?. Philosophers’ Imprint, 2, pp. 1-33, 2002.
 Hetherington, S. The Gettier-illusion: Gettier partialism and infallibilism. Synthese, 188/2, pp. 217-30, 2012.
 Hetherington, S. Knowledge Can Be Lucky. In M. Steup and J. Turri (eds.) (2013), pp. 164-76.
 Hetherington, S. (ed.) The gettier problem. Cambridge University Press, 2018.
 Jackson, F. From metaphysics to ethics: a defence of conceptual analysis. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998a.
 Jackson, F. Reference and description revisited. Philosophical Perspectives 12/S12, pp. 201-18, 1998b.
 Kaplan, D. Demonstratives. in J. Almog, J. Perry, H. Wettstein (eds.) (1989a), pp. 481-565.
 Kaplan, D. Afterthoughts. in Almog, J., Perry, J., and Wettstein, H. (eds.) (1989b), pp. 565-614.
 Kripke, S. Naming and necessity., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1972/1980.
 Kripke, S. Speaker’s reference and semantic reference. Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 2, pp. 255–76, 1977.
 Lepore, E. and Smith, B. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
 Loar, B. The semantics of singular terms. Philosophical Studies, 30/6, pp. 353-77, 1976.
 Onofri, A. The publicity of thought. The Philosophical Quarterly, 68/272, pp. 521-41, 2018.
 Paul, M. P. Success in referential communication., Philosophical Studies Series Vol. 80, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1999.
 Peet, A. Referential intentions and communicative luck. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 95/2, pp. 379-84, 2017.
 Perry, J. Frege on demonstratives. Philosophical Review, 86, pp. 474-97, 1977.
 Perry, J. The problem of the essential indexical. Noûs, 13/1, pp. 3-21, 1979.
 Prinz, J. Furnishing the mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002.
 Pritchard, D. Epistemic luck. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
 Prosser, S. “Shared Modes of Presentation”. Mind and Language, https://doi.org/10.1111/mila.12219, 2018.
 Putnam, H. The meaning of “meaning”. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7, pp. 131-93, 1975.
 Recanati, F. Direct reference: from language to thought. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1993.
 Recanati, F. Quasi-singular propositions: the semantics of belief reports. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementary Vol., 69, pp. 175-93, 1995.
 Recanati, F. Mental files. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
 Salmon, N. Frege’s puzzle. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1986.
 Sandgren, A. Secondary belief content, what is it good for?. Philosophical Studies, 175/6, 1467- 76, 2018.
 Schneider, S. The language of thought: a new philosophical direction. Harvard: MIT Press, 2011.
 Schroeter, L. Bootstrapping our Way to Samesaying. Synthese, 189/1, pp. 177-97, 2012.
 Schroeter, L. and Schroeter, F. Normative concepts: a connectedness model. Philosophers’ Imprint, 14/25, pp. 1-26, 2014.
 Soames, S. Beyond rigidity: the unfinished semantic agenda of naming and necessity. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
 Sosa, E. How to defeat opposition to moore. Noûs, 33(s13), pp. 141–153, 1999.
 Tayebi, S. “Recanati on Communication of Firstperson Thoughts”. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, 1/3, pp. 210-18, 2013.
 Unger, P. An analysis of factual knowledge. The Journal of Philosophy, 65(6), pp. 157-70, 1968.
 Unnsteinsson, E. Referential intentions: a response to Buchanan and Peet. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 96/3, pp. 610-15, 2018.
 Weber, C. Centered communication. Philosophical Studies, 166(S1), pp. 205-23, 2013.
 Weiskopf, D. Atomism, pluralism, and conceptual content. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 79/1, pp. 131-63, 2009.
 Williamson, T. Knowledge and its limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
 Zagzebski, L. The inescapability of gettier problems. The Philosophical Quarterly, 44(174), pp. 65-73, 1994.