Fixing the reference of theoretical terms

Philosophy of Science 47 (4):505-531 (1980)
Kripke and Putnam have proposed that terms may be introduced to refer to theoretical entities by means of causal descriptions such as 'whatever causes observable effects O'. It is argued that such a reference-fixing definition is ill-formed and that theoretical beliefs must be involved in fixing the reference of a theoretical term. Some examples of reference-fixing are discussed e.g., the term 'electricity'. The Kripke-Putnam theory can not give an account of how terms may be introduced into science and then subsequently be discovered to be non-referring. A modified account of reference-fixing is suggested in which terms such as Gilbert's electric effluvia' and 'phlogiston' can be introduced into science and then be found to lack a reference
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
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: 13,009
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Howard Sankey (1991). Translation Failure Between Theories. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 22 (2):223-236.
Andreas Bartels (2010). Explaining Referential Stability of Physics Concepts: The Semantic Embedding Approach. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 41 (2):267 - 281.
Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

38 ( #53,010 of 1,410,124 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #38,379 of 1,410,124 )

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.