And they ain't outside the head either

Synthese 90 (1):27-53 (1992)
According to a classical view in the philosophy of language, the reference of a term is determined by a property of the term which supervenes on the history of its use. A contrasting view is that a term's reference is determined by how it is properly interpreted, in accordance with certain constraints or conditions of adequacy on interpretations. Causal theories of reference of the sort associated with Hilary Putnam, Saul Kripke and Michael Devitt are versions of the first view, while defenders of determination by interpretation theories include Donald Davidson, Daniel Dennett and John Haugeland. I use a variant of Putnam's Twin Earth thought experiment to argue against the first view generally, and causal theories of reference in particular, then go on to argue that properly-formulated version of the principle of charity can account for the intuitions that seem to support causal theories. Finally, I apply my version of interpretationism to the problem of reference to abstract objects and compare it with some of Wittgenstein's and Quine's views about language
Keywords Interpretation  Language  Meaning  Sense  Putnam, H  Quine  Wittgenstein
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    29 ( #50,818 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.