• Mental Files in Flux
    Oxford University Press. 2016.
    This book is a sequel to Recanati’s Mental Files (OUP 2012), and pursues the exploration of the mental file framework for thinking about concepts and singular reference. Mental files are based on 'epistemically rewarding' relations to objects in the environment. Standing in such relations to objects puts the subject in a position to gain information regarding them—information which goes into the file based on the relevant relation. Files do not merely store information about objects, however. Th…Read more
  •  2
    Collins (and Elbourne) on free pragmatic processes
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    The debate between literalism and contextualism bears on the (in-)existence of ‘free' pragmatic processes, i.e. pragmatic processes of interpretation which contribute to shaping intuitive truth-conditional content without being mandated by anything in the sentence itself. In his new book John Collins defends the contextualist position. He focusses on so-called ‘unarticulated constituents' (e.g. the unmentioned location of rain in a statement like ‘It is raining’) and argues against the idea that…Read more
  • Mental files in flux
    Oxford University Press. 2016.
    François Récanati has pioneered the 'mental file' framework for thinking about concepts and how we refer to the world in thought and language. He now explores what happens to mental files in a dynamic setting: Recanati argues that communication involves interpersonal dynamic files.
  • Mental files
    In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of the Philosophy of Language, Cambridge University Press. 2021.
  • Mental files
    In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), Cambridge Handbook of the Philosophy of Language, Cambridge University Press. 2021.
  •  1
    Meaning and Force: The Pragmatics of Performative Utterances
    Philosophy and Rhetoric 23 (3): 248-250. 1987.
  •  40
    Understanding force cancellation
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. 2022.
  •  11
    Jules Vuillemin et la philosophie analytique
    Revue de Synthèse 141 (1-2): 11-33. 2020.
    Résumé Dans cette communication, qui reprend en partie les idées exposées il y a trente ans dans un article de Critique, François Recanati entreprend de caractériser la philosophie analytique en discutant une demi-douzaine de traits supposés distinctifs de la discipline : l’usage de la logique, l’importance de la philosophie du langage considérée comme philosophie première, le refus de réduire la philosophie à l’histoire de la philosophie, l’idée que la philosophie est une discipline de second n…Read more
  •  24
    Several authors have noted the proximity of Marty’s and Grice’s ideas. Both Marty and Grice distinguish natural meaning and the sort of meaning involved in human communication; and they both attempt to provide a characterization of human communication that does not essentially appeal to the conventional nature of its linguistic devices. In this contribution, I single out what I take to be a main difference between Marty and Grice. Marty views linguistic communication as continuous with natural m…Read more
  • About the Lekton: Response to Kölbel
    In Raphael Salkie & Ilse Depraetere (eds.), Semantics and Pragmatics: Drawing a Line, Springer Verlag. 2017.
  •  14
    Aims and Scope This volume brings together original papers by linguists and philosophers on the role of context and perspective in language and thought. Several contributions are concerned with the contextualism/relativism debate, which has loomed large in recent philosophical discussions. In a substantial introduction, the editors survey the field and map out the relevant issues and positions.
  •  57
    Transparent Coreference
    Topoi 40 (1): 107-115. 2019.
    Because reference is not transparent, coreference is not transparent either: it is possible for the subject to refer to the same individual twice without knowing that the two acts of reference target the same individual. That happens whenever the subject associates two distinct yet coreferential files with two token singular terms. The subject may not know that the two files corefer, so her ascribing contradictory properties to the same object does not threaten her rationality. But if the subjec…Read more
  •  24
    Réflexion et Réflexivité
    Journal of Ancient Philosophy 296-303. forthcoming.
  •  114
    Immunity to error through misidentification (edited book)
    Cambridge University Press. 2012.
    In this collection of newly commissioned essays, the contributors present a variety of approaches to it, engaging with historical and empirical aspects of the subject as well as contemporary philosophical work.
  •  54
    From Meaning to Content
    In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning: Essays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics, Oxford University Press. 2018.
    According to a widespread picture due to Kaplan, there are two levels of semantic value: character and content. Character is determined by the grammar, and it determines content with respect to context. In this chapter Recanati criticizes that picture on several grounds. He shows that we need more than two levels, and rejects the determination thesis: that linguistic meaning as determined by grammar determines content. Grammatical meaning does not determine assertoric content, he argues, but mer…Read more
  •  172
    Fictional, Metafictional, Parafictional
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (1): 25-54. 2018.
  •  58
    Contextualism and Polysemy
    Dialectica 71 (3): 379-397. 2017.
    In this paper, I argue that that polysemy is a two-sided phenomenon. It can be reduced neither to pragmatic modulation nor to ambiguity, for it is a mixture of both. The senses of a polysemous expression result from pragmatic modulation but they are stored in memory, as the senses of an ambiguous expression are. The difference with straightforward ambiguity is that the modulation relations between the senses are transparent to the language users: the senses are felt as related – they form a fami…Read more
  •  9
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (4): 408-437. 2015.
  •  15
    IV*—Contextual Dependence and Definite Descriptions
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 87 (1): 57-74. 1987.
    François Recanati; IV*—Contextual Dependence and Definite Descriptions, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Volume 87, Issue 1, 1 June 1987, Pages 57–74, h.
  • La Transparence et l'énonciation. Pour introduire a la pragmatique
    Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 85 (4): 529-533. 1980.
  •  25
    Direct Reference
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (4): 953-956. 1996.
  •  6
    How Narrow is Narrow Content?
    Dialectica 48 (3-4): 209-229. 1994.
    SummaryIn this paper I discuss two influential views in the philosophy of mind: the two‐component picture draws a distinction between ‘narrow content’ and ‘broad content’, while radical externalism denies that there is such a thing as narrow content. I argue that ‘narrow content’ is ambiguous, and that the two views can be reconciled. Instead of considering that there is only one question and three possible answers corresponding to Cartesian internalism, the two‐component picture, and radical ex…Read more
  •  125
    Millikan’s Theory of Signs (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3). 2007.
    Review of Millikan's book Varieties of Meaning (MIT Press/Bradford Books, 2004).
  •  40
    Situations and the Structure of Content
    In Kumiko Murasugi & Robert Stainton (eds.), Philosophy and Linguistics, Westview Press. pp. 113--165. 1999.
    An investigation into 'Austinian semantics'. Every utterance is said to express an 'Austinian proposition' consisting of a situation and a fact the situation is presented as supporting. A more recent statement of the theory is to be found in *Oratio Obliqua, Oratio Recta: an Essay on Metarepresentation* (MIT Press/Bradford Books, 2000).
  •  199
    Literal Meaning
    Cambridge University Press. 2002.
    According to the dominant position among philosophers of language today, we can legitimately ascribe determinate contents to natural language sentences, independently of what the speaker actually means. This view contrasts with that held by ordinary language philosophers fifty years ago: according to them, speech acts, not sentences, are the primary bearers of content. François Recanati argues for the relevance of this controversy to the current debate about semantics and pragmatics. Is 'what is…Read more
  •  26
    Are 'here' and 'now' indexicals?
    Texte 27 115-127. 2001.
    It is argued there is nothing special or deviant about the use of 'now' to refer to a time in the past (or about the use of 'here' to refer to a distant place) — no need to appeal to pragmatic mechanisms such as context-shifting to account for such uses. Such uses are puzzling only if one (mistakenly) maintains that 'here' and 'now' are pure indexicals. In the paper it is claimed that they are more similar to demonstratives than to pure indexicals. Updated material on this can be found in *Truth…Read more