It is argued here that there is no fact of the matter between direct referencetheory and neo-Fregeanism. To get a more precise idea of the central thesis of this paper, consider the following two claims: (i) While direct referencetheory and neo-Fregeanism can be developed in numerous ways, they can be developed in essentially parallel ways; that is, for any (plausible) way of developing direct referencetheory, there is an essentially parallel way of (...) developing neo-Fregeanism, and vice versa. And (ii) for each such pair of theories, there is no fact of the matter as to which of them is superior; or more precisely, they are tied in terms of factual accuracy. These are sweeping claims that cannot be fully justified in a single paper. But arguments are given here that motivate these theses, i.e., that suggest that they are very likely true. (shrink)
It is not well known that in his Göttingen period (1900–1916) Edmund Husserl developed a kind of direct referencetheory, anticipating,among other things, the distinction between referential and attributive use of adefinite description, which was rediscovered by Keith Donnellan in 1966 and further analysed by Saul Kripke in 1977. This paper defends the claim that Husserl''s idea of the mental act given voice to in an utterance sheds new light on that distinction and particularly on cases where semantic (...) referent and speaker''s referent diverge. It is argued that whenembedded in a dynamic theory of intentionality, the idea of giving-voice-to allows for a pragmatic (as opposed to a purely semantic) analysis of such cases. In Section 1 an example involving a referentially used description is presented, and the view that descriptions that can be used both attributively and referentially are thus ambiguous is criticized. Section 2 is concerned with Husserl''s discussion of a case where someone seems to demonstratively refer to something that he mistakes for something else. On thebasis of this discussion, a dynamic conception of the intentional content (and referent) of the mental act given voice to in an utterance is developed. Section 3 applies this neo-Husserlian conception to the example described in Section 1. Finally, it is shown how this conception serves to elucidate the referential/attributive distinction. (shrink)
In "Has Semantics Rested on a Mistake?", Howard Wettstein denies that semantics must account for cognitive significance. He thus rejects Frege's condition of adequacy for semantics and rids the new theorists from seemingly intractable puzzles. In a more recent article, Wettstein claims that not only reference but even cognitive significance is not a matter of how the referent is presented to the mind of the speaker. In this paper, I submit that the crucial element in the debate between new (...) theorists and neo-Fregeans concerning the semantic significance of language is the connection between semantic matters and the human thougth. (shrink)
This paper evaluates Putnam’s argument in the first chapter of Reason, Truth and History, for the claim that we can know that we are not brains in a vat (of a certain sort). A widespread response to Putnam’s argument has been that if it were successful not only the world but the meanings of our words (and consequently our thoughts) would be beyond the pale of knowledge, because a causal theory of reference is not compatible with our having (...) knowledge of the meanings of our words. I argue that this is not so. I argue also, however, that given how Putnam argues (here) for the causal theory of reference, he cannot after all escape this consequence. (shrink)
In this thesis I argue that the psychological study of concepts and categorisation, and the philosophical study of reference are deeply intertwined. I propose that semantic intuitions are a variety of categorisation judgements, determined by concepts, and that because of this, concepts determine reference. I defend a dual theory of natural kind concepts, according to which natural kind concepts have distinct semantic cores and non-semantic identification procedures. Drawing on psychological essentialism, I suggest that the cores consist of (...) externalistic placeholder essence beliefs. The identification procedures, in turn, consist of prototypes, sets of exemplars, or possibly also theory-structured beliefs. I argue that the dual theory is motivated both by experimental data and theoretical considerations. The thesis consists of three interrelated articles. Article I examines philosophical causal and description theories of natural kind term reference, and argues that they involve, or need to involve, certain psychological elements. I propose a unified theory of natural kind term reference, built on the psychology of concepts. Article II presents two semantic adaptations of psychological essentialism, one of which is a strict externalistic Kripkean-Putnamian theory, while the other is a hybrid account, according to which natural kind terms are ambiguous between internalistic and externalistic senses. We present two experiments, the results of which support the strict externalistic theory. Article III examines Fodor’s influential atomistic theory of concepts, according to which no psychological capacities associated with concepts constitute them, or are necessary for reference. I argue, contra Fodor, that the psychological mechanisms are necessary for reference. (shrink)
Although it was traditionally thought that self-reference is a crucial ingredient of semantic paradoxes, Yablo (1993, 2004) showed that this was not so by displaying an infinite series of sentences none of which is self-referential but which, taken together, are paradoxical. Yablo's paradox consists of a countable series of linearly ordered sentences s(0), s(1), s(2),... , where each s(i) says: For each k > i, s(k) is false (or equivalently: For no k > i is s(k) true). We generalize (...) Yablo's results along two dimensions. First, we study the behavior of generalized Yablo-series in which each sentence s(i) has the form: For Q k > i, s(k) is true, where Q is a generalized quantifier (e.g., no, every, infinitely many, etc). We show that under broad conditions all the sentences in the series must have the same truth value, and we derive a characterization of those values of Q for which the series is paradoxical. Second, we show that in the Strong Kleene trivalent logic Yablo's results are a special case of a more general fact: under certain conditions, any semantic phenomenon that involves self-reference can be emulated without self-reference. Various translation procedures that eliminate self-reference from a non-quantificational language are defined and characterized. An Appendix sketches an extension to quantificational languages, as well as a new argument that Yablo's paradox and the translations we offer do not involve self-reference. (shrink)
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Feigl, Place and Smart offered an answer to the mind‑body problem called Identity Theory. According to Identity Theory, there are physical descriptions describing the same event as first‑person descriptions of experience. In this article, we address the criticism that mind‑body identity can be refuted on logical grounds, taken in the widest sense. Kripke’s criticism to this effect, as developed in Naming and Necessity, will be our central concern. Another notorious argument we will consider (...) is Chalmers’s, as developed in The Conscious Mind. The Identity Theorists originally held that identity statements could be contingently true. Kripke argues that all true identity statements are true necessarily. If the mind‑body identity is contingent, as Kripke thinks it must be, it cannot be true. Unlike Identity Theorists, I accept that body‑mind identity must be necessary, but unlike Kripke, I argue that it can be. Central to my refutation of Kripke and Chalmers is a more elaborate approach to thinking about reference. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that the causal and description theories of natural kind term reference involve certain psychological elements. My main goal is to refine these theories with the help of empirical psychology of concepts, and to argue that the refinement process ultimately leads to the dissolution of boundaries between the two kinds of theories. However, neither the refined theories nor any other existing theories provide an adequate answer to the question of what makes natural kind terms rigid. (...) To provide an answer to this question I conclude my paper by introducing a framework of a unified theory of natural kind term reference that is built on the empirical psychology of concepts. (shrink)
The article first rehearses three deflationary theories of reference, (1) disquotationalism, (2) propositionalism (Horwich), and (3) the anaphoric theory (Brandom), and raises a number of objections against them. It turns out that each corresponds to a closely related theory of truth, and that these are subject to analogous criticisms to a surprisingly high extent. I then present a theory of my own, according to which the schema “That S(t) is about t” and the biconditional “S refers (...) to x iff S says something about x” are exhaustive of the notions of aboutness and reference. An account of the usefulness of “about” is then given, which, I argue, is superior to that of Horwich. I close with a few considerations about how the advertised theory relates to well-known issues of reference, the conclusions of which is (1) that the issues concern reference and aboutness only insofar as the words “about” and “refer” serve to generalise over the claims that are really at issue, (2) that the theory of reference will not settle the issues, and (3) that it follows from (2) that the issues do not concern the nature of aboutness or reference. (shrink)
Here, Bob Hale and Crispin Wright assemble the key writings that lead to their distinctive neo-Fregean approach to the philosophy of mathematics. In addition to fourteen previously published papers, the volume features a new paper on the Julius Caesar problem; a substantial new introduction mapping out the program and the contributions made to it by the various papers; a section explaining which issues most require further attention; and bibliographies of references and further useful sources. It will be recognized as (...) the most powerful presentation yet of a neo-Fregean program. (shrink)
Several proponents of the interventionist theory of causation have recently argued for a neo-Russellian account of causation. The paper discusses two strategies for interventionists to be neo-Russellians. Firstly, I argue that the open systems argument – the main argument for a neo-Russellian account advocated by interventionists – fails. Secondly, I explore and discuss an alternative for interventionists who wish to be neo-Russellians: the statistical mechanical account. Although the latter account is an attractive alternative, it is argued that interventionists are (...) not able to adopt it straightforwardly. Hence, to be neo-Russellians remains a challenge to interventionists. (shrink)
‘Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is conceptualized in many ways. We argue that one cannot be indifferent about the issue of its conceptualization. In terms of methodology, our position is that any conceptual discussion must embed CSR in political theory. With regard to substance, we link up with the discussion on whether CSR must be defined on the basis of a tripartite or a quadripartite division of business responsibilities. We share A.B. Carroll’s intuition that a quadripartite division is called for (...) as a basis to define CSR. However, defending the quadripartite division of business responsibilities requires that the distinctions between economic, legal, ethical and discretionary business responsibilities be made intelligible. Carroll’s account is defective in this respect. We argue that contemporary Neo-Kantian political ethics is able to make sense of these distinctions, because of its specific interpretation of liberalism. Interestingly, from a conventional liberal perspective this interpretation of liberalism is atypical, as it extends public morality beyond the domain of the law. (shrink)
This paper is a contribution to the historical roots of the analytical tradition. As Michael Dummett points out in his Origins of Analytic Philosophy, many tendencies in Central European thought contributed to the early development of analytic philosophy. Dummett himself concentrates on just one aspect of this historical complex, namely on the relationship between the theories of meaning and reference developed by Frege and by Husserl in the years around the turn of the century. It is to this specific (...) issue that the present essay is devoted, though we attempt a more sympathetic reading of Husserl's views on these matters than is to be found in Dummett’s work. Topics covered include Husserl’s theory of intentionality, his view of meanings as types or essences of mental acts, of the relation between meaning and expression, of states of affairs, and of indexicality. (shrink)
Contemporary work-related education and training policy represents occupational competence as the outcome of individual performance at work. This paper presents a critique of this neo-liberal assumption, arguing that in many cases competence should be regarded as an attribute of groups, teams and communities. It proposes a theory of collective competence in terms of (1) making collective sense of events in the workplace, (2) developing and using a collective knowledge base and (3) developing a sense of interdependency. It suggests that (...) the language of competence would become a more effective tool for understanding performance at work if the collectivistic sense of the term 'competence' were used in conjunction with the more established individualistic sense. (shrink)
Gottlob Frege has exerted an enormous influence on the evolution of twentieth-century philosophy, yet the real significance of that influence is still very much a matter of debate. This book provides a completely new and systematic account of Frege's philosophy by focusing on its cornerstone: the theory of sense and reference. Two features distinguish this study from other books on Frege. First, sense and reference are placed absolutely at the core of Frege's work; the author shows that (...) no adequate account of the theory can avoid analysing the notion of thought that underpins it, or explaining how it has clarified our concept of judgement. Second, the theory is situated within the development of Frege's thought; the author reveals how the theory caused Frege to alter many of his fundamental views. In doing so the author presents a clearer picture of the problems the theory was intended to solve, and delineates more sharply the characteristic features of Frege's philosophy. (shrink)
This book investigates the nature of the relationship between phonology and syntax and proposes a theory of Minimal Indirect Reference that solves many classic problems relating to the topic. Seidl shows that all variation across languages in phonological domain size is due to syntactic differences and a single domain parameter specific to phonology.
The question of the role of theory in the determination of reference of theoretical terms continues to be a controversial one. In the present paper I assess a number of responses to this question (including variations on David Lewis’s appeal to Ramsification), before describing an alternative, epistemically oriented account of the reference-determination of such terms. The paper concludes by discussing some implications of the account for our understanding of both realism and such competitors of realism as constructive (...) empiricism. (shrink)
This paper uses an example from biology, the homology concept, to argue that current versions of the causal theory of reference give an incomplete account of reference determination. It is suggested that in addition to samples and stereotypical properties, the scientific use of concepts and the epistemic interests pursued with concepts are important factors in determining the reference of natural kind terms.
The causal theory of reference is often taken to provide a solution to the problems, such as incomparability and referential discontinuity, that the meaning-change thesis raised. I show that Kuhn successfully questioned the causal theory and Putnam's idea that reference is determined via the sameness relation of essences that holds between a sample and other members of a kind in all possible worlds. Putnam's single ‘essential' properties may be necessary but not sufficient to determine membership in (...) a kind category. Kuhn argued that extension is fixed by similarity-dissimilarity relations that are liable to change in taxonomic reorganizations of science. *Received October 2009; revised January 2010. †To contact the author, please write to: Institute of Philosophy, University of Leiden, Martin de Vrieshof 4, 2300 RS Leiden, The Netherlands; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
The New Theory of Reference (NTR) of Marcus, Kripke, Kaplan, Putnam and others is a theory in the philosophy of language and there has been much debate about whether it entails the metaphysical theory of essentialism. But there has been no discussion about whether the NTR entails another metaphysical theory, the absolutist theory of time and space. It is argued in this paper that the NTR carries this entailment; the theory of time is (...) the main focus of the paper and it is argued that the NTR entails the absolutist theory that times are event-independent moments. (shrink)
In his early work Feyerabend argues that certain theories are incommensurable due to semantic variance. In this paper it is argued that Feyerabend relies on a description theory of reference in the course of his argument for incommensurability and in his analysis of the relevant kind of semantic variance. Against this it is objected that such reliance on the description theory eliminates ostensive reference determination and obscures the presence of theoretical conflict.
THIS ARTICLE PRESENTS A THEORY OF REFERENCE AS AN INTENTIONAL ACT, INDEPENDENT OF THE METAPHYSICAL ASSUMPTION OF THE EXISTENCE OF A REAL (AND COMMON) WORLD. ACCORDING TO THE THEORY, SPEAKERS REFER TO ENTITIES IN THEIR COGNITIVE SPACES. DIFFERENT SPEAKERS HAVE DIFFERENT SPACES, WHICH AT ANY GIVEN TIME MIRROR THEIR BELIEF-SYSTEMS AT THAT TIME. OBJECTS IN COGNITIVE SPACES ARE DISTINGUISHED FROM IDEAS, "SINNE", AND MEINONGIAN NON-EXISTENTS, AND SEVERAL DIFFICULTIES OF THE THEORY ARE DISCUSSED: AMONG THEM, HOW TO (...) HANDLE COMMUNICATION AND TRUTH. (shrink)
This paper argues that several important tenets of the so-called "new theory of reference"--also known as the "historical-explanation theory" and as the "causal theory" of reference--were developed by william james as early as 1885 and that by 1895 they were elaborated by him in no less detail than contemporary theorists have so far done. these tenets include the central doctrine that reference is dependent on a causal or historical-explanatory chain connecting the act of referring (...) with the entity referred to. james' theory of reference is argued to be an aspect of his theory of truth. reference in james is argued to be an aspect of his pragmatic conception of the "workings" of true ideas. (shrink)
This paper critically evaluates what it identifies as ‘the institutional theory of freedom’ developed within recent neo-Hegelian philosophy (by Robert Pippin and, in a different way, Axel Honneth). While acknowledging the gains made against the Kantian theory of autonomy as detachment it is argued that the institutional theory ultimately undermines the very meaning of practical agency. By tying agency to institutionally sustained recognition it effectively excludes the exercise of practical reason geared toward emancipation from a settled normative (...) order. Adorno's notion of autonomy as resistance is enlisted to develop an account of practical reason that is neither institutionally constrained nor without appropriate consideration of the historical location of the practical agent. (shrink)
We present $\in_I$-Logic (Epsilon-I-Logic), a non-Fregean intuitionistic logic with a truth predicate and a falsity predicate as intuitionistic negation. $\in_I$ is an extension and intuitionistic generalization of the classical logic $\in_T$ (without quantifiers) designed by Sträter as a theory of truth with propositional self-reference. The intensional semantics of $\in_T$ offers a new solution to semantic paradoxes. In the present paper we introduce an intuitionistic semantics and study some semantic notions in this broader context. Also we enrich the quantifier-free (...) language by the new connective < that expresses reference between statements and yields a finer characterization of intensional models. Our results in the intuitionistic setting lead to a clear distinction between the notion of denotation of a sentence and the here-proposed notion of extension of a sentence (both concepts are equivalent in the classical context). We generalize the Fregean Axiom to an intuitionistic version not valid in $\in_I$. A main result of the paper is the development of several model constructions. We construct intensional models and present a method for the construction of standard models which contain specific (self-)referential propositions. (shrink)
The so-called New Theory of Reference (Marcus, Kripke etc.) is inspired by the insight that in modal and intensional contexts quantifiers presuppose nondescriptive unanalyzable identity criteria which do not reduce to any descriptive conditions. From this valid insight the New Theorists fallaciously move to the idea that free singular terms can exhibit a built-in direct reference and that there is even a special class of singular terms (proper names) necessarily exhibiting direct reference. This fallacious move has (...) been encouraged by a mistaken belief in the substitutional interpretation of quantifiers, by the myth of thede re reference, and a mistaken assimilation of direct reference to ostensive (perspectival) identification. Thede dicto vs.de re contrast does not involve direct reference, being merely a matter of rule-ordering (scope).The New Theorists' thesis of the necessity of identities of directly referred-to individuals is a consequence of an unmotivated and arbitrary restriction they tacitly impose on the identification of individuals. (shrink)
In this paper, presented at an APA colloquium in Boston on December 28, 1994, it is argued that Ruth Barcan Marcus' 1961 article on Modalities and Intensional Languages originated many of the key ideas of the New Theory of Reference that have often been attributed to Saul Kripke and others. For example, Marcus argued that names are directly referential and are not equivalent to contingent descriptions, that names are rigid designators, and that identity sentences with co-referring names are (...) necessary if true. She also first presented the modal argument that names are directly referential, the epistemic argument that names are directly referential, and the argument that there area posteriori necessities. (shrink)
This paper is a reply to some of Scott Soames' comments on my colloquium paper Marcus, Kripke, and the Origin of the New Theory of Reference. Except for the indicated parts added in May, 1995, this paper was written on December 16th–25th, 1994 as my reply to Soames for the APA colloquium in Boston, December 28, 1994. In this paper, I argue that Soames' contention that Marcus is not one of the primary founders of contemporary (...) nondescriptivist theories of reference is false. Soames presents numerous arguments for his thesis that Marcus did not originate ideas later elaborated upon by Kripke, but his arguments are unsound; they are based in part on a misunderstanding of Marcus' theory and in part on an inadequate grasp of some of the key notions of the New Theory of Reference, such as the notion of a posteriori necessities and the notion of reference-fixing descriptions. (shrink)
In this paper I suggest that Searle’s theory of reference is immune to the specific criticisms that have been levelled against it. I first present an overview of Searle’s “cluster” theory, followed by an overview of the Kripkean critique. I then examine in detail Kripke’s objections and suggest that they are not sufficient for a rejection of Searle’s theory. Finally, I consider several general objections to the cluster theory and argue that they, too, do not (...) suffice to reject it. (shrink)
The so-called New Theory of Reference (Marcus, Kripke etc.) is inspired by the insight that in modal and intensional contexts quantifiers presuppose nondescriptive unanalyzable identity criteria which do not reduce to any descriptive conditions. From this valid insight the New Theorists fallaciously move to the idea that free singular terms can exhibit a built-in direct reference and that there is even a special class of singular terms (proper names) necessarily exhibiting direct reference. This fallacious move has (...) been encouraged by a mistaken belief in the substitutional interpretation of quantifiers, by the myth of the de re reference, and a mistaken assimilation of "direct reference" to ostensive (perspectival) identification. The de dicto vs. de re contrast does not involve direct reference, being merely a matter of rule-ordering ("scope"). The New Theorists' thesis of the necessity of identities of directly refened-to individuals is a consequence of an unmotivated and arbitrary restriction they tacitly impose on the identification of individuals. (shrink)
In 'Notes on the Theory of Reference' Quine offers a brief argument, based on Tarski's Convention T and semantic definition of truth, that the theory of meaning is 'in a worse state' than is the theory of reference and that the concepts of the theory of meaning are inherently more 'foggy and mysterious' than those of thetheory of reference. A careful reconstruction of Quine's argument, however, is sufficient to show both that he covertly (...) imposes a double standard of clarity on the two theories in question and that in so far as Tarski's contributions clarify or explicate the notion of truth they do likewise for the notion of analyticity. Consequently, the appeal which Quine makes to Tarski's definition of truth cannot be used in the manner he wishes, to draw a clear boundary between the theories of meaning and reference. (shrink)
While purely causal theories of reference have provided a plausible account of the meanings of names and natural kind terms, they cannot handle vacuous theoretical terms. The causal homeostasis theory can but incurs other difficulties. Theories of reference that are intensional and not purely causal tend to be molecularist or holist. Holist theories threaten transtheoretic reference, whereas molecularist theories must supply a principled basis for selecting privileged meaning-determining relations between terms. The causal homeostasis theory is (...) a two-factor (causal and intensional) molecularist theory, but it fails to provide such a principled basis and collapses into holism. A naturalistic, non-foundationalist holism that deploys strategies of intertheoretic reduction and co-evolutionary pluralism can, however, yield a credible version of transtheoretic reference. (shrink)
The paper considers Fregean and neo-Fregean strategies for securing the apriority of arithmetic. The Fregean strategy recovers the apriority of arithmetic from that of logic and a family of explicit definitions. The neo-Fregean strategy relies on a principle which, though not an explicit definition, is given the status of a stipulation; unlike the Fregean strategy it relies on an extension of second order logic which is not merely a definitional extension. The paper argues that this methodological difference is (...) important in assessing the success of the neo-Fregean strategy. (shrink)
Frege's theory of indirect contexts and the shift of sense and reference in these contexts has puzzled many. What can the hierarchy of indirect senses, doubly indirect senses, and so on, be? Donald Davidson gave a well-known 'unlearnability' argument against Frege's theory. The present paper argues that the key to Frege's theory lies in the fact that whenever a reference is specified (even though many senses determine a single reference), it is specified in a (...) particular way, so that giving a reference implies giving a sense; and that one must be 'acquainted' with the sense. It is argued that an indirect sense must be 'immediately revelatory' of its reference. General principles for Frege's doctrine of sense and reference are sated, for both direct and indirect quotation, to be understood iteratively. I also discuss Frege's doctrine of tensed and first person statements in the light of my analysis. The views of various other authors are examined. The conclusion is to ascribe to Frege an implicit doctrine of acquaintance similar to that of Russell. (shrink)
1. The Real Claim of the Chicago School If anything dramatic has happened in economic theory over the last one hundred years – namely, since the advent of marginalism – then, everyone agrees, it was not the rise of the Chicago neo -classical school which, after all, only synthesized the various versions of marginalism, but the Keynesian Revolution. Assessments of this revolution were repeatedly invited, particularly by opponent, chiefly from Chicago. F. A. von Hayek has explicitly and bitterly blames (...) Keynes for all our economic troubles; Harry Johnson has repeatedly declared the most revolutionary work of Keynes, his General Theory of 1936, so poor that but for its author's name on its title page it would have totally flopped. Can such a flop cause so much damage? Are these two assessments – of Hayek and of Johnson – in conflict or no t? Don Patinkin has raised a different question: how different is Keynes from his Chicago opponents, say, Milton Friedman? How many heads need roll, to use his metaphor, before a revolution may be declared? Patinkin sees Keynes as slightly deviant but stil l a member of the mainstream – the mainstream of the mainstream being Friedman and his Chicago followers, of course. Now, can a minor deviant be a flop? Can minor deviations from the true blue doctrine be to blame for all of our economic woes? I do not kno w. Joan Robinson sees in Keynes a minor deviation from classical theory because he said once his correction of classical theory is implemented, that theory takes over once again. Moreover, Samuelson and Friedman have endorsed a (poor) version of Keynes' theory of shortterm relative price and ignored his general theory of price and money. (shrink)
Gilbert Ryle wrote that "Meaning-theory expanded just when and just in so far as it was released from that 'Fido'-Fido box, the lid of which was never even lifted by Meinong". This paper sets out to relieve Ryle's oversimplification about Meinong and the role of meaning theory in his thought. One step away from canine simplicity about meaning is the recognition of a distinction between sense and reference, such as we find in Frege, Husserl, and the early (...) Russell. In Über Möglichkeit und Wahrscheinlichkeit (1915) Meinong seems to corroborate Ryle when he writes, "Word-meanings are objects", but immediately after this, he qualifies it: "Word-meanings are very often auxiliary objects". The distinction between auxiliary and target objects in Meinong's later work allows us to attribute to him a theory of sense and reference which shows him to have indeed lifted the box-lid. (shrink)
The truthmaker theory rests on the thesis that the link between a true judgment and that in the world to which it corresponds is not a one-to-one but rather a one-to-many relation. An analogous thesis in relation to the link between a singular term and that in the world to which it refers is already widely accepted. This is the thesis to the effect that singular reference is marked by vagueness of a sort that is best understood in (...) supervaluationist terms. In what follows we show that the supervaluationist approach to singular reference, when wedded to the truthmaker idea, yields a framework of surprising power, which offers a uniform set of solutions to a range of problems regarding identity, reference and knowledge, problems which have hitherto been dealt with on an ad hoc basis. (shrink)
In recent years, experimental philosophers have questioned the reliance of philosophical arguments on intuitions elicited by thought experiments. These challenges seek to undermine the use of this methodology for a particular domain of theorizing, and in some cases to raise doubts about the viability of philosophical work in the domain in question. The topic of semantic reference has been an important area for discussion of these issues, one in which critics of the reliance on intuitions have made particularly strong (...) claims about the prospects for philosophical theories of reference and arguments based on claims about reference. In this article, I review the main lines of argument in this area of experimental philosophy, with particular emphasis on the relevance of empirical data about intuitions to philosophical views. I argue that although traditional philosophical theorizing about reference faces little threat from experimental data about intuitions, there is nevertheless much to be gained from collecting and analyzing such data, which holds the promise of greatly enriching our conception of the mechanisms governing judgments about semantic reference in ways that are highly relevant to philosophers. (shrink)
This article reinterprets the Kelsen-Schmitt debate in the context of social systems theory and rethinks its major concepts as part of legal and political self-reference and systemic differentiation. In Kelsen?s case, it is the exclusion of sovereignty from juridical logic that opens a way to the self-reference of positive law. Similarly, Schmitt constructed his concept of the political as a self-referential system of political operations protected from the social environment by the medium of power. The author argues (...) that the process of legal and political globalisation rules out the possibility of formulating substantive theories of the state associating this particular social organisation with metaphysical values and a self-validating collective identity. Kelsen and Schmitt continue to inspire current theories of non-metaphysical globalised law and politics. However, the constitutional state and sovereignty need to be reformulated as a meeting point of functionally differentiated and globalised legal and political communications and not as their ultimate end. (shrink)
I discuss three puzzles of probability theory which seem connected with problems of direct reference and rigid designation. The resolution of at least one of them requires referential use of definite descriptions in probability statements. I argue that contrary to common opinion all these puzzles are in a way still unsolved: They seem to exemplify cases in which a change of probabilities is rationally required, even though any specific change presupposes unjustified assumptions.
The paper presents an example of unified theory bearing interest from both a historical and systematic point of view. The example is chosen from evolutionary population genetics (neo-Darwinian synthetic theory). It exhibits various aspects of theoretical change in science that have been shown in Part I (Geiger, 1988) to be characteristic of syntheses of theories.
The cyclical theory f time, which is better known under the name of the 'theory of eternal recurrence,' is usually associated with certain ancient thinkers--in particular, Pythagoreans and Stoics. The most famous among those who have tried to revive the theory in the modern era is unquestionably Friedrich Nietzsche. It is less well known that the theory was defended also by C.S. Peirce and, as late as 1927, by the French historian of science, Abel Rey. The (...) contemporary discussion of the problem of the direction of time has a direct bearing on the problem of eternal recurrence. The primary purpose of this paper is to evaluate critically the theory itself and then to show how this critical analysis can be applied to Peirce's own version of this theory. (shrink)
Dr Thrane makes an original contribution to one of the central topics in syntax and semantics: the nature and mechanisms of reference in natural language. He makes a fundamental distinction between syntactic analyses that are internal to the structure of a language and analyses of the referential properties that connect a language with the 'outside world' - and therefore derive in some sense from common human capacities for perceptual discrimination. Dr Thrane argues that the failure to make this distinction (...) and to attend separately to both kinds of analysis has vitiated previous general accounts of linguistic structure. The book focuses particularly on pronouns and on the role of determiners, quantifiers and other components of the noun phrase. Most of the data come from the modern Germanic languages, especially English, but Dr Thrane considers also the structural peculiarities of 'classifier languages' like Vietnamese. The book will be important for students of English language as well as for general linguists. (shrink)
This paper explores some problems with Gareth Evans’s theory of the fundamental and non-fundamental levels of thought . I suggest a way to reconceive the levels of thought that overcomes these problems. But, first, why might anyone who was not already struck by Evans’s remarkable theory care about these issues? What’s at stake here?