1. Biographical information
 Michael Gareth Justin Evans was born in London on May 12th, 1946, to his parents Gwaldus and Justin Evans. He had an older brother Huw, an older sister Myfawny, and a younger sister Elaine. As a young student, Evans was both highly intelligent and careless. The final report from his form master at Granton Primary School says that "Gareth is so vigorous and impatient to get his work finished that he is subject to error. A delightful boy!"
 At Dulwich College in 1961 and 1962, he was initially interested in classics, but he changed his mind, studying history instead. Until 1962, Evans maintained some minimal interest in athletics and music. He played hard at Rugby, and even attended a week-long course to improve his skills. He took piano lessons from 1953-57, then took up the oboe in 1958, getting certificates in the oboe, and playing in the school orchestra until 1962.
 Reports from instructors throughout his college years consistently speak of Evans as "valu[ing] speed rather than accuracy", as making "careless errors", of producing "slapdash work", and needing self-discipline "both in work and behavior", of "charging round the school like someone possessed" and "us[ing] the lunch hour to indulge his teenage crazes off the school premises". They speak equally of him as "highly intelligent" and having "great ability". One instructor remarked that he was "Stimulating, even arrogant, in discussion, thorough in reading and in notes, over-dogmatic, even eccentric in essay work". Another wrote "The word 'refreshing' rather than 'diplomatic' would describe his expressions of opinion".
 He won the Gladstone Open Scholarship in History at University College, Oxford in December of 1963. He excelled at Oxford, passing his PPE exam prelims in 1965 with "distinction", and was first in his class in the PPE finals in 1967 -- "the best first in PPE for many a year" according to John Maud, who was at the time Master of University. He also won a Graduate Prize Fellowship at Harvard, as well as a Senior Scholarship at Christ Church, Oxford. Evans seems to have been obsessed with academic work as an undergraduate, seeing family only occasionally, even during summer months. Part of the reason for this was that in 1966 he had decided to pursue philosophy as a career, and he knew that in order for this to be a realistic goal, he needed first-class marks in philosophy in order to put himself in position to do a B.Phil. at Oxford.
 In a letter he wrote to his father in 1966, in which he asked for money so that he would not have to get a job, preferring to spend the summer months on academic work, he says that "Strawson thinks that I am good enough to do philosophy seriously, and I get on very well with him". His father had no qualms in accepting Evans' suggestion, and gave him the money.
 In January 1968 he was awarded a Kennedy Scholarship, which allowed him to spend the 1968-69 academic year in the US. He split his time between Harvard and UC Berkeley, paying lecturing visits to the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Chicago. He returned to Oxford the following year, to take up a fellowship there on September 8, 1969. He would be a Fellow until 1979.
 At the end of 1977, he left for MIT, where he would teach for two terms. At the end of the academic year, in 1978, he drove to Mexico City with his close friend Antonia Philips to visit his former pupil and friend Hugo Margain, who was head of the department at the university there. Evans was to give a series of lectures. After the second lecture, Evans and Margain were stopped in Margain's car by a small group of terrorists, who apparently wanted to kidnap Margain (his father was the Mexican ambassador to the US). The event resulted in Margain being fatally wounded, and Evans being shot through the knee.
 After his return to Oxford, Evans sought appointment as Wilde Reader in Mental Philosophy, in large part because as a Reader he would have a significantly smaller teaching load than as a Fellow, and this would allow him to devote more time to research. However in order to be considered as Reader in Mental Philosophy, Evans had to gain some substantial knowledge of the empirical approaches to the study of mind, which he did. On May 5, 1979, it was officially announced that Evans was elected to the Wilde Readership.
 During a visit to the US in early 1980, Evans began suffering from pain in his back. Soon after his return to London, he was admitted to the University College Hospital on June 2, where he was diagnosed with cancer. He was privately married to Antonia Philips in hospital on June 11th. He continued to work on his book, and was released from the hospital for two brief periods. He was readmitted on August 8, and died on August 10. His body was interred in Wolvercote Cemetery, at Oxford, on August 14, 1980.
2. Evans' work, and its relation to the contributions in this volume
 What follows are brief sketches of some of Evans' central doctrines. The purpose of these sketches is to provide readers unfamiliar with Evans' work some idea of what he is up to, and also to locate the contributions of this volume in the larger fabric of Evans' overall program. But it should be kept in mind that Evans' position is extremely complex, and so any sketch of this length will necessarily involve a certain amount of distortion.
 As the title of his posthumously published book, The Varieties of Reference, suggests, Evans recognized a heterogeneity within the class of referring expressions. The major line of demarcation being whether or not an account of the semantics of the expression in question required a notion of Fregean Sense. On one side of this line were proper names, which Evans argued were genuinely referring expressions, even though there was nothing like a Sense associated with them. The main argument for this is that one can understand a sentence containing a proper name without having to think of the referent in any particular away (this is in part supported by Evans' denial, similar to but distinct from Kripke's, of the traditional view that proper names had to be associated, in the mind of the speaker, with some cluster of descriptive content in order to refer appropriately).
 On the other side of the divide are demonstrative and indexical expressions (e.g. that ball, I, here) on the one hand, and what Evans calls descriptive names on the other. A descriptive name is a name that, unlike a normal proper name, is associated with some definite descriptive content, such that in order for one to understand the name, one must understand the stipulative relationship between the name and the associated definite description. Such names are rare: an example would be "Jack the Ripper" which is stipulated to refer to the person responsible for a certain streak of brutal killings in London. What distinguishes descriptive names from demonstratives and indexicals is that, according to Evans, demonstratives and indexicals (as well as proper names) are Russellian, meaning that if they are empty, then they are meaningless. In "Singular Terms and Reference: Evans and 'Julius'", Ronald Chrisley examines in detail Evans' argument to the effect that descriptive names are referring expressions (and hence are not just short for definite descriptions, which are not referring expressions), yet are unlike other referring expressions in that they are meaningful when empty, that is, are non-Russellian. Chrisley argues that Evans' attempt to maintain this balancing act is unsuccessful, not only because it rests on what Chrisley identifies as a questionable anti-realist assumption concerning the metaphysical status of Senses, but also because it requires premises and inferences which, if applied consistently, would threaten other, more central, aspects of Evans' taxonomy of expressions that play the role of grammatical subjects.
 Evans argues that one can understand the semantics of demonstrative and indexical expressions only by way of an explication of what is required to understand sentences using such expressions as their grammatical subject. In order for such a sentence to be understood, it is not enough that I think of the object referred to in just any way. It must be thought of in a particular way: that is to say, demonstrative expressions have a Fregean Sense. Evans (following Perry among others) claims that this way of thinking cannot be by description, since for any description one can give of the object, one can understand the description, and yet not realize that that object is the one that uniquely fits the description. Though Perry takes this to be evidence that demonstratives cannot have a Fregean Sense, Evans argues that this conclusion follows only on the assumption that Fregean Senses are analyzable as descriptions. If "ways of thinking" can be broadened to include non-descriptive modes of identification (at least one variety of which would involve nonconceptual content, about which more below), then the way will be clear for a genuine notion of demonstrative sense. With this background, we can get into the details of Evans' account of the demonstrative way of thinking of an object.
 According to what Evans calls Russell's Principle, a subject can be legitimately credited with thought about an object only if the subject knows which object is in question; and one analysis of this is that the subject must be able to distinguish that object from all others in thought. This rules out, inter alia, what Evans calls the Photograph Model of Thought. Encouraged by semantic theories that place causation at the heart of the reference-fixing mechanisms of proper names, the Photograph Model claims that the referent of a thought can likewise be determined by its causal ancestry. If the analogy to a causal theory of names holds, then this means that a subject can have a genuine referring thought about some object even if the subject lacks the resources to discriminate that object from all others in thought, provided the thought has the right causal pedigree -- thus conflicting with Russell's Principle. In "The Semantic Challenge to Russell's Principle" Mark Textor discusses some proposals put forth by David Kaplan that would flout Russell's Principle for demonstrative expressions. The first is Kaplan's "dthat", and Textor argues that Kaplan's anti-Russell's Principle argument based on dthat rests on an ambiguity. The second involves Kaplan's theory of the indexicals I, here, now. Textor argues that entertaining the "characters" of these indexicals does not allow the putative thoughts thereby entertained to pass Evans' Generality Constraint (explained below).
 Evans follows Strawson in claiming that there are three ways of discharging the requirement of discriminating knowledge, initial glosses of which are: one can know a description uniquely true of the object, one can perceptually discriminate the object in one's surroundings, or one has a recognitional capacity for the object that serves to recognize only it. Clearly it is the second that is operative in the understanding of demonstrative expressions. Since what counts as perception is somewhat vague, Evans introduces the notion of an information link between the object and the subject (though it will turn out that information links are not sufficient to give one discriminating knowledge, as will be explained below). The information link provides the subject with information about the object. This information gets mainlined into what Evans calls a "controlling conception" of the object, which can be thought of as a dossier that one keeps about objects of thought. Information in the dossier is used to make judgments and assess thoughts about the object. So if the information link is visual, it will in normal circumstances place information in the controlling conception of the object that allows the subject to judge that the object is green, for example.
 Now not all controlling conceptions are currently being fed by information links, or contain information that was derived from an information link in the past, but a great deal are. Judgments I make about the first man on the moon, the Queen of England, or this computer, are based on controlling conceptions that have a certain amount of information (from perceptual systems, or from testimony or memory). The presence of information derived from an information link in the controlling conception of the object influences the content of demonstrative thoughts concerning that object. It is an aspect of the content that is registered in the difference between "the f is F" and "that f is F". That is, part of what is required for me to understand a sentence such as "that f is F" is that I have a controlling conception of the object referred to that is currently, or was at some time, being fed by an active information link with the object. (But it is NOT required that I think of the object AS an object with which I have, or had, and information link.) If someone says to me "That dog is about to attack", and I enjoy no information links with anything in my environment that is a dog, then I am not in a position to understand his utterance. I can look around, and perhaps see (i.e. latch on to an information link with) a dog, and thus put myself in a position to understand it. (More on this below.)
 I mentioned a while back that according to Evans, information links, though necessary for demonstrative identification, are not sufficient. The reasoning behind this is a bit involved, but it can be summarized, with a bit of strain, as follows. In order to be credited with thought about an object, the subject's candidate thought must conform to the Generality Constraint: if a subject entertains a putative thought of the form "a is F", it is a necessary condition for this episode to count as a genuine thought that the subject be able to entertain certain other thoughts: the thought that "a is G", "a is H", and so forth for other predicates G, H, etc. expressing concepts that the subject possesses; and "b is F", "c is F", for all other names b, c, etc., over which the subject has mastery. That is, the thought must be the product of two separate abilities (the ability to think of a, and the ability to think of something as being F), so structured as to allow for all other semantically-non-anomalous combinations. Evans argues that a mere information link does not guarantee that one has such an Idea of the source object available.
 So how does one get such an Idea? One way is if one has what Evans calls a fundamental Idea of the object. A fundamental Idea of an object is one that exploits an object's fundamental ground of difference, where this latter notion is that which provides individuation conditions for objects of that sort. So, the fundamental ground of difference for numbers is (perhaps) their position in an infinite ordering; the fundamental ground of difference for chess positions is given by the configuration of pieces on the board; and the fundamental ground of difference of objects is given by the object's spatial location together with a sortal (the sortal is required, since a statue and a piece of clay can occupy the same spatial location). So if a subject thinks of an object as the occupier of a location in space, then the subject will have a fundamental Idea of the object that guarantees that the subject's thought satisfies Russell's Principle (the object is distinguished in thought from all others by its spatial location), and also conforms to the Generality Constraint (I here ignore the argument for this last claim).
 Fundamental Ideas of all sorts (of spatial objects, chess positions, etc.) form what Evans calls the Fundamental Level of Thought. In "Subjectivity, Objectivity and Frames of Reference in Evans's Theory of Thought" Adrian Cussins examines the relationship between the Fundamental Level of Thought and objectivity. Cussins suggests that the idea of a fundamental Level that is wholly objective (in the sense of being thoroughly non-indexical, non-subjective) is a mistake -- such a position leads to unacceptable consequences. Rather, Cussins argues that such objectivity as is needed to secure singular reference is not provided by a single "holistic and non-local" frame of reference (as Evans would have it), but rather is made available in a holistic and non-local manner through the cognitively accessible and revisable coordination of multiple frames of reference, each of which, considered in isolation, may have ineliminable elements of subjectivity.
 In the case of a successful demonstrative identification, the information link not only provides information that is fed into the controlling conception, but it also allows the subject to locate the object in space, thus providing for a Fundamental Idea of the object. This ability has two parts. First, the information link allows that subject to locate the object in her egocentric space. Second, the subject, in order to have thoughts about the world at all, has the ability to impose her representation of egocentric space on a representation of objective space, and thus identify locations in the egocentric space with locations in objective space. The combination of the two abilities gives the subject the means to be able to identify the object as the unique occupier of a location in objective space.
 Evans discusses the notion of egocentric space at some length, both in section 6.3 of The Varieties of Reference, as well as the posthumously published "Molyneux's Question". He argues that spatial content is provided by an organism's "behavioral dispositions" -- the content of up, down, left, right, here, there, etc. is given by the organism's complicated connections between perception and action. It is these connections that both underwrite a subject's "here"-thoughts, as well as allow the subject to locate objects in egocentric space on the basis of suitable information links. In a manner partly parallel to his treatment of demonstrative identification, Evans argues that a subject's Idea of "here" requires both an informational component (one must be so disposed so as to allow information gained in certain ways to immediately influence one's judgments concerning here), as well as a component providing for an adequate Idea of the place, via one's ability to identify "here" (egocentrically specified) as a location in objective space. That is, one's "here" thoughts are similar to demonstrative thoughts, in that they involve information links to the place, as well as the capacity to have a fundamental Idea of the place -- to have the capacity to locate it in objective space.
 In "Skill and Spatial Content" Rick Grush explores and defends Evans' proposal regarding egocentric spatial content. He tries to construct an intelligible exposition of the proposal: in short, that sensory input acquires spatial content for an organism only via that input's poising the organism to execute spatially directed sensorimotor skills that the organism possesses. A red light in my visual field is seen as "over there" only because my sensation of the light allows me to orient my eyes such as to foveate on it, to skillfully move my hand to its location, etc. He defends this against the objection that it seems as though there is spatial content to vision apart from any skills. Grush argues to the contrary that there is reason to believe that visual experience is in fact not intrinsically spatial, but only acquires spatial import via its connection to appropriate skills.
 On the other hand, objective space is space that is conceived independently of the subject's point of view. Part of Evans' argument is that we can think of things objectively, as being things that have an existence independent of our perception of them, only by locating them in (objective) space. In this conviction, Evans follows his teacher Strawson, and Kant. In the second chapter of his book Individuals, Strawson defends what he calls the Kantian thesis, which maintains that it is only through a representation of space that a subject can conceive of particulars that have an objective existence. Evans wrote a reply to Strawson's chapter, "Things without the mind" that also took up the Kantian thesis, though it argues that Strawson's defense of it was flawed. In "Objectivity without space", Pete Mandik makes a classification of different senses of "objective", and argues that regardless of the sense in which "objective" is intended, neither Strawson nor Evans successfully defend the idea that space is required for objectivity.
 My discussion of Evans' views on demonstrative identification made little mention of one of Evans' central ideas: nonconceptual content. The primary motivation I have already mentioned: Evans is convinced that in order to understand a demonstrative, one must think of the object in a particular way (hence there is room for a notion of demonstrative sense), but that this way cannot be by description. I cannot appropriately single the object out in thought via any description f, because for any such description, I can grasp the content while failing to realize that that object is the f. Another way of saying this is that the content I grasp in understanding a demonstrative cannot be analyzed as content I grasp in virtue of mobilizing some set of predicational concepts at my disposal -- any such set of concepts will at best give me a descriptive content. But saying what the content is not leaves it quite underspecified what it is. One place where nonconceptual information is present in a demonstrative thought I have already mentioned: the fact that the thought is information-based is part of the content of the thought ("the f" vs. "that f", recall), without it entering by way of description (it is not thought of as "the object with which I am enjoying an information link"; rather, the information link enters into the content in a nonconceptual manner -- the f is presented to the subject in an information-linked-way, one might say). Also, the information link can provide richer information than the subject has the conceptual means to capture (one can experience more shades of color than one has color concepts, to take the most common example). Furthermore, the content of egocentric spatial locations is nonconceptual, being grasped not in virtue of any concepts, but rather in virtue of behavioral skills that the organism possesses.
 In "What makes perceptual content non-conceptual?" Sean Kelly discerns a number of Evans' arguments for nonconceptual content, but finally focuses on the best-known: the argument from the fineness of experiential grain. Using as a springboard a recent debate between John McDowell and Christopher Peacocke concerning the ability of "demonstrative concepts" to capture the content of experience, Kelly argues that the richness of the content of experience is in part a function of the context of experience and the object of experience, and hence no concepts, demonstrative or otherwise, regardless of fineness of grain, will be sufficient to account for it (since concepts by their nature are context- and object-invariant).
 One hurdle that theorists of nonconceptual content face, as Daniel Hutto points out in "Nonconceptual content and objectivity", is that nonconceptual content is supposed to both be content, that is to be genuinely representational, and to be nonconceptual, that is, not articulable into independently variable conceptual constituents. This is a bind because the typical way of specifying content is in terms of truth conditions, and statements of truth conditions exploit just the sort of object/property conceptual apparatus that is denied to nonconceptual content. Hutto endorses what he calls a modest biosemantics, whereby an organism's evolutionary history explains certain aspects of the intentionality of its states. He then argues that this sort of biosemantics can explain the correctness conditions for nonconceptual contents in a way which allows them to be representational, but to do so without appealing to conceptual truth conditions. Hutto also addresses the nature of objectivity, arguing that creatures gain the ability to entertain conceptual contents through social interaction, on something like a Davidsonian triangulation model. Hutto thus implicitly argues against the Kantian thesis (explained above) which is favored by both Evans and Strawson concerning the role of space in objective thought.
 The relation between nonconceptual content and concept possession is also explored in "Nonconceptual Content and the Nature of Perceptual Experience" by José Luis Bermúdez and Fiona Macpherson. They underscore a tension in Evans' thought, between his naturalistic leanings, which seem on the one hand to embrace the idea of nonconceptual content, and explanations of it in terms of behavioral dispositions and capacities for discrimination (among others), and on the other hand his neo-Kantianism, which places restrictions on the attribution of experience to creatures with a "thinking, concept-applying and reasoning system". Bermúdez and Macpherson argue that it is only in virtue of the fact that perceptual experience carries forms of nonconceptual content that such experience can fulfill its role in the higher-level thinking and reasoning system (a conclusion which echoes that of Cussins). So rather than siding with Evans that such contents only count as experience because of their role as input to a conceptual reasoning system, they argue that such content can only serve as input to such a system if it in fact is (already) experience (and hence Evans, driven by his neo-Kantianism, reverses the proper order of explanation).
 Evans goes on to expand the application of this machinery (information links plus ability to make in identification that provides a fundamental Idea) to account for "I"-thoughts. There are two reasons Evans makes this application. One is simply that he feels that he can shed light on such thoughts by applying some of the same lessons that were applied to "here"-thoughts and "this"-thoughts. Another motivation is that it serves to short-circuit a class of objections to his program concerning demonstratives and "here"-thoughts. This class of objections involves the attempt to reduce demonstratives, including "here"-thoughts, to descriptions -- something like "here", "where I am", "the place I now occupy", and "this", "the thing I am now looking at", etc. This dissenting view attempts to make self-identification primary, and model "here" and "that" as descriptively anchored to a prior and independently intelligible notion of "I". Evans' counter is that the same cluster of abilities and mechanisms that account for our ability to entertain "here"- and "that"-thoughts also account for our grasp of "I"-thoughts. One can phrase the main thought in somewhat Kantian terms: the necessary and sufficient precondition for the possibility of entertaining any of these thoughts is the necessary and sufficient precondition for the possibility of entertaining the others. This precondition is, again very roughly, the idea of a single unified objective spatio-temporal framework containing persisting objects, through which one traces a continuous trajectory, and the experience of which is determined jointly by the state of objects in the world, and the subject's position in, orientation in, and perceptual receptivity to that world.
 A phenomenon manifested in self-reference, first pointed out by Wittgenstein and later examined and named by Shoemaker and developed brilliantly by Evans, is immunity to error through misidentification (IEM). To a first approximation, a judgment of the form "a is F" is IEM if it makes no sense to wonder, on the basis of the information that gives rise to the judgement "Something is F, but is it a that is F?" When I look out the window and see a car covered with snow, I can make the judgement "My car is covered with snow". And it makes sense (i.e. it would not be senseless) for me to ask on the basis of seeing the snow-covered car "Something is covered with snow, but is it my car that is covered with snow?" Thus, my judgement is subject to error through misidentification -- I might misidentify something that is in fact not my car as my car, and hence err in judging that my car is covered with snow, because I have made a misidentification. By way of contrast, my judgement that my fingers are cold, made while feeling my fingers freeze as I brush the snow and scrape the ice off my car, behaves differently. In this case it makes no sense to wonder "Someone's fingers are cold, but is it me whose fingers are cold?"
 Evans accounts for this phenomenon in the following way. Judgements about objects (including oneself) are made on the basis of information in the object's controlling conception. There are two ways that information may make its way into the controlling conception of an object a. First, one may have information in the controlling conception of object b, and upon an identification of a and b (made on whatever basis) transfer that information into the controlling conception of a. Judgements made on the basis of such information are dependent on an intervening identification of a and b. The other way that information can get into the controlling conception is that the information can, as it were, be mainlined directly into the controlling conception, without the aid of any identity judgement. The difference is a matter of how the information is gained. I can gain information to the effect that a finger is cold by sticking a meat thermometer in it, looking at the readout, and judging that the finger is cold. It might even be the case that because my finger is so numb, and perhaps I am not keeping track of exactly where my nondominant hand is, that it is in fact my finger that is cold. In such a case, I identify an object visually as a finger, gain information about it (information that is shunted into a controlling conception inaugurated for the object I am interacting with). This controlling conception of the finger (call it b) might then make its way into my thought about my finger, but only if I identify this object as my finger -- that is, if I identify that finger that I just stabbed with the meat thermometer as my finger. Because of the way in which the information is gained, it makes sense for me to wonder "Someone's finger is cold, but is it me whose finger is cold?" On the other hand, if the information is gained in the "normal" way, via feeling the characteristic coldness, this information is shunted directly into the controlling conception of my body, without an identification of an object at all. Thus, gaining information in the second way, but not the first, to the effect that that the predicate "is very cold" is satisfied, is tantamount to gaining information to the effect that my finger is cold.
 Ingar Brinck, in "Self-Identification and Self-Reference", examines Evans' treatment of IEM in some detail. She argues that tensions emerge in Evans account of IEM when one tries to square it with other aspects of his theory of reference, especially his insistence that all objective thought, including thought about oneself as a person, involves an identification of the object thought about "indexically" as a denizen of the objective order. Brinck continues with an analysis of what is involved in subjective self-consciousness in such a way as to handle these difficulties.
 The extent of Evans' contributions to philosophy are not limited to theories of reference and nonconceptual content, however. In a one-page article "Can there be vague objects" Evans entered the debate on vagueness with what has come to be a very widely discussed argument to the effect that the supposition that there are vague objects leads to absurdity. In "Vagueness, Language, and Ontology" Jesse Prinz provides what is at once a review of much of the debate that Evans' argument has provoked, and a contribution to that debate. Prinz argues that it is possible to defend the coherence of the notion of vague objects against Evans' argument, ultimately on the ground that Evans' argument makes a question-begging appeal to Leibniz' Law. Even so, Prinz shows that there is reason to side with Evans in the conviction that much of the vagueness found in language is not to be explained by appeal to vague objects.
 Few philosophers leave as significant a mark on their discipline over the course of a full career as Evans left by the age of thirty-four. And while most philosophers whose work touches on topics that Evans was concerned with are appreciative of the contribution he made, it is difficult not to lament for the contributions that might have been. I can do no better than to echo the words of John McDowell in his editor's preface to The Varieties of Reference, and say that I hope that the contributions to this volume, through their use of Evans' ideas in such a great variety of applications, makes generally available a lively appreciation of how much philosophy has lost by his early death.
 I am indebted to my colleague John McDowell for sharing with me, both in conversation and via some very helpful biographical material prepared by Evans' father, information that made its way into the biographical section of this introduction. I would also like to sound a more general note of thanks to my friend and former teacher, Adrian Cussins, who is responsible for introducing me, many years ago, to Evans' work. And I would like to thank Ron Chrisley, Adrian Cussins and Pete Mandik for some very helpful comments on an earlier draft of this introduction.
Department of Philosophy
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
University of Pittsburgh
© 1998 Rick Grush
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