Against Arguments from Reference

It is common in various quarters of philosophy to derive philosophically significant conclusions from theories of reference. In this paper, we argue that philosophers should give up on such 'arguments from reference.' Intuitions play a central role in establishing theories of reference, and recent cross-cultural work suggests that intuitions about reference vary across cultures and between individuals within a culture (Machery et al. 2004). We argue that accommodating this variation within a theory of reference undermines arguments from reference.
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DOI 10.2307/40380469
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John Bengson (2013). Experimental Attacks on Intuitions and Answers. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):495-532.

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