Referring when push-comes-to-shove
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Sarah Sawyer (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Language. Palgrave Macmillan (2009)
The anchoring focus of this paper is a cluster of complaints that have been raised against reference-based approaches to semantics, in particular against the view defended by Scott Soames (2002). I am going to lump the complaints that I have in mind under the heading of the Threat of Collapse (or the Threat, for short). At the heart of the Threat of Collapse is the accusation that various moves referentialists make in dealing with well-known problems end up undercutting the motivations for a reference-based semantics in the first place.
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