David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal for General Philosophy of Science 22 (1):155-167 (1991)
Summary One of the central questions concerning theories of reference has been the problem of how the reference of scientific terms gets fixed. Descriptive causal theories of reference, as discussed in this paper, have re-introduced the role of theoretical beliefs and conceptualisations in term introductions and reference-fixing. The present paper argues that the idea of reference-fixing as a dot-like event (baptism) is wrong: a number of episodes from the history of science are discussed to support the claim that reference-fixing is a historical, drawn-out process. This, however, does not stand in the way of successful reference. The two processes are simply separated. A criterion is suggested to determine successful reference. From this approach two further ideas follow: not all scientific terms actually have the power of referring and even those that do will always retain a residual indeterminacy
|Keywords||descriptive causal theories of reference successful reference and reference-fixing reference and the progress of science non-referring scientific terms indeterminacy of reference|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Clyde L. Hardin & Alexander Rosenberg (1982). In Defense of Convergent Realism. Philosophy of Science 49 (4):604-615.
H. G. Callaway (1982). Sense, Reference and Purported Reference. Logique Et Analyse 25 (March):93-103.
J. Dodd (2012). Defending the Discovery Model in the Ontology of Art: A Reply to Amie Thomasson on the Qua Problem. British Journal of Aesthetics 52 (1):75-95.
Quentin Smith (1989). The Multiple Uses of Indexicals. Synthese 78 (2):167--191.
Ilkka Niiniluoto (1997). Reference Invariance and Truthlikeness. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):546-554.
Alberto Voltolini (1994). The Nameability of Possible Objects. From a Logical Point of View 3:14-33.
D. Cummiskey (1992). Reference Failure and Scientific Realism: A Response to the Meta-Induction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (1):21-40.
Brian Epstein (2008). The Realpolitik of Reference. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):1–20.
Robert Nola (1980). Fixing the Reference of Theoretical Terms. Philosophy of Science 47 (4):505-531.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads17 ( #105,531 of 1,168,025 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #85,406 of 1,168,025 )
How can I increase my downloads?