The sortal dependence of demonstrative reference

Imogen Dickie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Argues that the capacity to classify an object according to its kind is not implicated in picking the thing out as an object of demonstrative thought, but is implicated in thinking a whole 'That is F' thought about it, and makes the case for the superiority of this view to more standard 'sortalist' theses.
‘Sortalism about demonstrative reference’ is the view that the capacity to refer to things demonstratively rests on the capacity to classify them according to their kinds. This paper argues for one form of sortalism. Section 1 distinguishes two sortalist views. Section 2 argues that one of them is false. Section 3 argues that the other is true. Section 4 uses the argument from Section 3 to develop a new response to the objection to sortalism from examples where we seem to succeed in referring even though we get sortal classification wrong, or do not attempt to classify at all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-60
JournalEuropean Journal of Philosophy
Issue number1
Early online date15 Sept 2011
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Demonstratives
  • Demonstrative reference
  • Sortalism
  • Sortal


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