Institut Jean Nicod

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Soutenance de thèse - Shimon Mercer-Wood "Thought about Groups and Kinds – Plural and Generic Mental File"


Date : lundi 12 décembre 2022 à 15h

Lieu : Salle 5, Collège de France


Jury :

  • David Nicolas (Président, CNRS-ENS)
  • Eleonora Orlando (Rapporteur, Université de Buenos Aires)
  • Mieszko Talasiewicz (Rapporteur, Uniwersytet Warszawski)
  • Alda Mari (Examinateur, CNRS-ENS)
  • Michael Murez (Examinateur, Université de Nantes)
  • François Recanati (Directeur de thèse, Collège de France) 


Résumé : 

This thesis examines the way we think and speak about groups and about kinds, that is, the mental and linguistic representations of plural and generic entities. It develops an account of these mental representations as instances of singular thought. It argues that their singularity consists in their functional structure being that of “mental files”, which includes “entries” corresponding to the properties the thinker attributes to the entity, the file itself which represents the entity independently of its properties and file management instructions which govern its use. Key elements of this strategy are shown to generalize to a range of analogous philosophical topics. This effort finds its place in the context of a wider philosophical project of extending the notion of singular thought to a wider range of objects and that of extending mental files as a model for a wider range of mental representations.