Direct reference in thought and speech

Communication and Cognition 26 (1):49-76 (1993)
Abstract
I want to begin by distinguishing between what I will call a pure Fregean theory of reference and a theory of direct reference. A pure Fregean theory of reference holds that all reference to objects is determined by a sense or content. The kind of theory I have in mind is obviously inspired by Frege, but I will not be concerned with whether it is the theory that Frege himself held.1 A theory of direct reference, as I will understand it, denies that all reference to objects is determined by sense or content. We will also distinguish between a theory of reference for thought, and for language. This gives us a fourfold classification of theories. What is puzzling about direct reference theories is not that the semantics of an expression in a public language should assign as its semantic value just a referent, but how such facts could be understood to reflect an underlying feature of thought. There are two interconnected aspects to this..
Keywords Language  Reference  Speech  Thought
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