Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Feb 7 2023

Fellows Lecture: Rachel Goodman, “Mental Files and Singular Thought”

February 7, 2023

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Fellows Lecture: Rachel Goodman,
Philosophy “Mental Files and Singular Thought”

Singular thoughts are said to be thoughts about particular things, which are in some sense ‘direct’ and which do not require a description of the things they are about. Coinciding with a growing sense that we need more clarity about what this means, there has been a surge of recent interest in the notion of a mental file. In this talk, I introduce and explain the notion of a mental file and the central theoretical uses to which it has been put (including that of explaining singular thought). I also reiterate and clarify a position I’ve taken in previous work: that the notion of a mental file should not be used to theorize specifically singular thought.

RACHEL GOODMAN is an Associate Professor. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago and, before coming to UIC, was an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska, and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Rachel’s research interests lie in the philosophy of mind and language, with a focus on the nature of representation. She’s interested in questions about mental reference and so-called ‘singular’ (or de re) thought, along with connected issues in the philosophy of language. She’s also interested in the notion of a mental file, in explanations of de jure coreference in language and thought, in different kinds of representational format, and in the format/ content distinction.


Institute for the Humanities

Date posted

Sep 2, 2022

Date updated

Jan 25, 2023