Institut Jean Nicod

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Soutenance de thèse - Romain Bourdoncle "Samethinking"


Date : mardi 13 décembre 2022 à 9h30

Lieu : Salle 1 du Collège de France.


Jury :

  • Stacie Friend (Birkbeck College, University of London)
  • Manuel Garcia-Carpintero (Université de Barcelone)
  • Eleonora Orlando (Université de Buenos Aires)
  • Ernesto Perini-Santos (Université fédérale du Minas Gerais)
  • Sajed Tayebi (Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences, Iran)
  • Michael Murez (co-encadrant, Université de Nantes)
  • François Recanati (co-encadrant, Collège de France).


Résumé :

This thesis investigates the nature of the relation between mental representations in successful verbal communication, thought attribution, agreement, and disagreement — a relation which I call “samethinking”. The nature of samethinking raises several foundational questions about the nature of (non-natural) meaning, and the cognitive underpinnings of the emergence of culture. It bears on long-lasting puzzles in the philosophy of mind and language (such as Frege’s puzzle and Kripke’s puzzle about belief). Samethinking does not amount to sharing a reference (with “sharing" I refer to two or more thinkers having something in common) : it is more demanding. How can we explain and characterize this relation, more stringent than coreference, that is instantiated by a pair of thoughts when samethinking takes place ? It is often assumed that this relation involves sharing a thought content more fine-grained than reference. In this thesis, I argue that the issue is more complex than what has been commonly assumed, and I suggest an alternative model in which sharing thought content is not necessary