Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Period of Performance

1/1/2010 - 8/31/2010

Funding Totals

$50,400.00 (approved)
$33,600.00 (awarded)

Propositions, Scope, and Reference

FAIN: FB-54868-10

Richard L. Mendelsohn
Lehman College Library (Bronx, NY 10468)

My project is to capture direct reference--the picking out of an object without the intermediation of any conceptualization of it--as a grammatical phenomenon, not as a feature of the lexical meaning of an expression. I interpret Donnellan's referential/attributive distinction as a (Russellian) scope phenomenon, and show how, given this propositional ambiguity, a plausible Fregean sense for the pronoun `I' gives the best account of the linguistic behavior of this pronoun, and in addition, a coherent account of de se attributions. I propose to write a monograph explaining and defending my approach in detail.