Our arc covers developments from Descartes and Kant and all the way to contemporary direct reference doctrines. Throughout we track the question—how is [singular] thinking possible?
In Descartes and Kant, we find attention to the necessary role of global singular thinking in local singular thinking. It may seem that the moderns, e.g. Putnam, Donnellan, Burge, etc. have focused solely on local singular thinkings: what do we—and don’t we– have ‘in the head’ when we think of Aristotle or lemons or [all] the [finite] ordinals?
Throughout, there is in those reflections a basic distinction between  (Latin/French) re-ferrer, going back to an object/kind ferried to the thinker vs.  starting in the thinker’s head with defining attributes and letting them define—by satisfaction— a denotation, if any.
The lectures aim to figure [A] Is there any local singular thinking that is not globally- involved? [B] Is there any thinking that is not singular? [C] Is there any thinking of non-beings?
In all, the focus is on understanding two themes of Descartes—[D1] Cogito—not merely the schematic truth guaranteed in any utterance of “I think” but what it is that is thus reported, what is this thinking I/you etc. engage in. [D2] In what way was Descartes right to see that being/existence precedes thinking and that the latter, thinking, is a second mode/development of being.