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  1. Realism Bit by Bit: Part II. Disjunctive Partial Reference.Christina McLeish - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (2):171-190.
    In this second paper, I continue my discussion of the problem of reference for scientific realism. First, I consider a final objection to Kitcher’s account of reference, which I generalise to other accounts of reference. Such accounts make attributions of reference by appeal to our pretheoretical intuitions about how true statements ought to be distibuted among the scientific utterances of the past. I argue that in the cases that merit discussion, this strategy fails because our intuitions are unstable. The interesting (...)
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  • The Subsumption of Reference.David Braddon-Mitchell - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (1):157-178.
    How can the reference of theoretical terms be stable over changes of theory? I defend an approach to this that does not depend on substantive metasemantic theories of reference. It relies on the idea that in contexts of use, terms may play a role in a theory that in turn points to a further (possibly unknown) theory. Empirical claims are claims about the nature of the further theories, and the falsification of these further theories is understood not as showing that (...)
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  • Introduction: Individual Concepts in Language and Thought.Tadeusz Ciecierski & Paweł Grabarczyk - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):349-356.
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  • Descriptivism Without Quotation.Dirk Franken - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):367-379.
    Current descriptivist accounts of proper names entail two claims: that the expressions we know as different proper names are the bearers of different meanings and that the descriptions corresponding to these meanings contain quotations of the expressions whose meanings they are taken to be. While is the source of a number of intractable problems, descriptivists feel committed to it because it is the only available option to adhere to, which they use to take as a matter of course. In the (...)
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  • A Metarepresentational Theory of Intentional Identity.Alexander Sandgren - 2019 - Synthese 196 (9):3677-3695.
    Geach points out that some pairs of beliefs have a common focus despite there being, apparently, no object at that focus. For example, two or more beliefs can be directed at Vulcan even though there is no such planet. Geach introduced the label ‘intentional identity’ to pick out the relation that holds between attitudes in these cases; Geach says that ’[w]e have intentional identity when a number of people, or one person on different occasions, have attitudes with a common focus, (...)
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  • Which Witch is Which? Exotic Objects and Intentional Identity.Alexander Sandgren - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):721-739.
    This paper is about intentional identity, the phenomenon of intentional attitudes having a common focus. I present an argument against an approach to explaining intentional identity, defended by Nathan Salmon, Terence Parsons and others, that involves positing exotic objects. For example, those who adopt this sort of view say that when two astronomers had beliefs about Vulcan, their attitudes had a common focus because there is an exotic object that both of their beliefs were about. I argue that countenancing these (...)
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  • Analyticity, Necessity and Belief : Aspects of Two-Dimensional Semantics.Johannesson Eric - 2017 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    A glass couldn't contain water unless it contained H2O-molecules. Likewise, a man couldn't be a bachelor unless he was unmarried. Now, the latter is what we would call a conceptual or analytical truth. It's also what we would call a priori. But it's hardly a conceptual or analytical truth that if a glass contains water, then it contains H2O-molecules. Neither is it a priori. The fact that water is composed of H2O-molecules was an empirical discovery made in the eighteenth century. (...)
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  • Realism About What? Unobservable Entities and the Metaphysics of Modality.Bruno Borge - 2016 - Filosofia Unisinos 17 (1):69-74.
    Most philosophers who advocate Scientific Realism endorse also Modal Realism, i.e., assume commitments with objective modality. However, the precise relationship between these positions has been scarcely explored. In this paper I argue that there is an indirect implication from SR to MR. Although the basic thesis of SR does not imply MR, both the main argument for SR and the best realist theory of reference do imply modal commitments.
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  • The 'Gödel' Effect.Gary Ostertag - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):65-82.
    In their widely discussed paper, “Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style”, Machery et al. argue that Kripke’s Gödel–Schmidt case, generally thought to undermine the description theory of names, rests on culturally variable intuitions: while Western subjects’ intuitions conflict with the description theory of names, those of East Asian subjects do not. Machery et al. attempt to explain this discrepancy by appealing to differences between Western and East Asian modes of categorization, as identified in an influential study by Nisbett et al. I claim that (...)
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  • ‘Knowledge’ as a Natural Kind Term.Victor Kumar - 2014 - Synthese 191 (3):439-457.
    Naturalists who conceive of knowledge as a natural kind are led to treat ‘knowledge’ as a natural kind term. ‘Knowledge,’ then, must behave semantically in the ways that seem to support a direct reference theory for other natural kind terms. A direct reference theory for ‘knowledge,’ however, appears to leave open too many possibilities about the identity of knowledge. Intuitively, states of belief count as knowledge only if they meet epistemic criteria, not merely if they bear a causal/historical relation to (...)
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  • Co‐Identification and Fictional Names.Manuel García‐Carpintero - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (1):3-34.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • The Mill-Frege Theory of Proper Names.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2018 - Mind 127 (508):1107-1168.
    This paper argues for a version of metalinguistic descriptivism, the Mill-Frege view, comparing it to a currently popular alternative, predicativism. The Mill-Frege view combines tenets of Fregean views with features of the theory of direct reference. According to it, proper names have metalinguistic senses, known by competent speakers on the basis of their competence, which figure in ancillary presuppositions. In support of the view the paper argues that the name-bearing relation—which predicativists cite to account for the properties that they take (...)
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  • Kitcher on Reference.Stathis Psillos - 1997 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (3):259 – 272.
    In his (1978) and parts of (1993), Philip Kitcher advances a new context-sensitive theory of reference which he applies to abandoned theoretical expression-types, such as Joseph Priestley’s ‘dephlogisticated air’, in order to show that, although qua types they fail to refer uniformly, they nonetheless have referential tokens. This piece offers a critical examination of Kitcher’s theory. After a general investigation into the overall adequacy of Kitcher’s theory as a general account of reference, I focus on the case of abandoned theoretical (...)
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  • Fictional Reports A Study on the Semantics of Fictional Names.Fiora Salis - 2010 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 25 (2):175-185.
    Against standard descriptivist and referentialist semantics for fictional reports, I will defend a view according to which fictional names do not refer yet they can be distinguished from one another in virtue of their different name-using practices. The logical structures of sentences containing fictional names inherit these distinctions. Different interpretations follow.
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  • A Defense of Russellian Descriptivism.Brandt H. van der Gaast - unknown
    In this dissertation, I defend a Russellian form of descriptivism. The main supporting argument invokes a relation between meaning and thought. I argue that the meanings of sentences are the thoughts people use them to express. This is part of a Gricean outlook on meaning according to which psychological intentionality is prior to, and determinative of, linguistic intentionality. The right approach to thought, I argue in Chapter 1, is a type of functionalism on which thoughts have narrow contents. On this (...)
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  • Como os Nomes Nomeiam: Um Passeio Filosófico Sobre a Referência.Sagid Salles - 2020 - Pelotas: UFPel.
    Uma das características mais interessantes da filosofia é sua capacidade de revelar problemas difíceis em lugares inesperados. É precisamente isto que ocorre com o caso dos nomes próprios. Usamos nomes cotidianamente para selecionar ou fazer referência a objetos particulares, e depois podermos dizer algo sobre eles. Talvez o leitor diga a um colega que gostaria de estar tomando um café em Paris, ao invés de gastar tempo lendo mais um livro de filosofia. Neste caso, estará usando o nome “Paris” para (...)
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  • From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
    Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as central to philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and widely misunderstood, suggests Jackson. He argues that such analysis is mistakenly clouded in mystery, preventing a whole range of important questions from being productively addressed. He anchors his argument in discussions of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on, via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, to ethics and the philosophy (...)
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  • Conceptual Stability and the Meaning of Natural Kind Terms.David Braddon-Mitchell - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):859-868.
  • Theoretical Terms Without Analytic Truths.Michael Strevens - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):167-190.
    When new theoretical terms are introduced into scientific discourse, prevailing accounts imply, analytic or semantic truths come along with them, by way of either definitions or reference-fixing descriptions. But there appear to be few or no analytic truths in scientific theory, which suggests that the prevailing accounts are mistaken. This paper looks to research on the psychology of natural kind concepts to suggest a new account of the introduction of theoretical terms that avoids both definition and reference-fixing description. At the (...)
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  • Names, Descriptions and Causal Descriptions. Is the Magic Gone?Genoveva Martí - 2017 - Topoi:1-9.
    Some of the fundamental lessons of the so-called revolution against descriptivism that occurred in the 70s are negative and it is not immediately apparent what kind of semantic theory should emerge as regards proper names, the alleged paradigms of genuinely referential terms. Some of the claims about names, most notably Ruth Barcan Marcus’ characterization of names as tags, appear to be too picturesque to provide the basis for a positive theory and, without a theory, it would seem that the referential (...)
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  • A-Intensions and Communication.Frederick Kroon - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 118 (1-2):279-298.
    In his 'Why We Need A-Intensions', Frank Jackson argues that "representational content [is] how things are represented to be by a sentence in the communicative role it possesses in virtue of what it means," a type of content Jackson takes to be broadly descriptive. I think Jackson overstates his case. Even if we agree that such representational properties play a crucial reference-fixing role, it is much harder to argue the case for a crucial communicative role. I articulate my doubts about (...)
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  • Reference, Contingency, and the Two-Dimensional Framework.Martin Davies - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 118 (1-2):83-131.
    I review and reconsider some of the themes of ‘Two notions of necessity’ (Davies and Humberstone, 1980) and attempt to reach a deeper understanding and appreciation of Gareth Evans’s reflections (in ‘Reference and contingency’, 1979) on both modality and reference. My aim is to plot the relationships between the notions of necessity that Humberstone and I characterised in terms of operators in two-dimensional modal logic, the notions of superficial and deep necessity that Evans himself described, and the epistemic notion of (...)
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  • Metaphysics and Conceptual Analysis: Experimental Philosophy's Place Under the Sun.Uriah Kriegel - 2017 - In D. Rose (ed.), Experimental Metaphysics. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 7-46.
    What is the rationale for the methodological innovations of experimental philosophy? This paper starts from the contention that common answers to this question are implausible. It then develops a framework within which experimental philosophy fulfills a specific function in an otherwise traditionalist picture of philosophical inquiry. The framework rests on two principal ideas. The first is Frank Jackson’s claim that conceptual analysis is unavoidable in ‘serious metaphysics’. The second is that the psychological structure of concepts is extremely intricate, much more (...)
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  • Belief-That and Belief-In: Which Reductive Analysis?Uriah Kriegel - 2018 - In Alex Gzrankowski & Michelle Montague (eds.), Non-Propositional Intentionality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 192-213.
    Let propositionalism be the thesis that all mental attitudes are propositional. Anti-propositionalists typically point at apparently non-propositional attitudes, such as fearing a dog and loving a spouse, and play defense against attempts at propositional analysis of such attitudes. Here I explore the anti-propositionalist’s prospects for going on the offensive, trying to show that some apparently propositional attitudes, notably belief and judgment, can be given non-propositional analysis. Although the notion that belief is a non-propositional attitude may seem ludicrous at first, it (...)
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  • Names and Natural Kind Terms.David Braun - 2006 - In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 490--515.
    Names and natural kind terms have long been a major focus of debates about meaning and reference. This article discusses some of the theories and arguments that have appeared in those debates. It is remarkably difficult to say what names are without making controversial theoretical assumptions. This article does not attempt to do so here. It instead relies on paradigm examples that nearly all theorists would agree are proper names, for instance, ‘Aristotle’, ‘Mark Twain’, ‘London’, ‘Venus’, and ‘Pegasus’. All of (...)
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  • Turning Aboutness About.Alexander Sandgren - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    There are two families of influential and stubborn puzzles that many theories of aboutness (intentionality) face: underdetermination puzzles and puzzles concerning representations that appear to be about things that do not exist. I propose an approach that elegantly avoids both kinds of puzzle. The central idea is to explain aboutness (the relation supposed to stand between thoughts and terms and their objects) in terms of relations of co-aboutness (the relation of being about the same thing that stands between the thoughts (...)
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  • Descriptions.Peter Ludlow - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Descriptions.P. Elbourne - 2007 - In Thaddeus Metz (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
     
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  • Philosophy, Drama and Literature.Rick Benitez - 2010 - In Graham Oppy & Steve Gardner (eds.), A Companion to Philosophy in Australia & New Zealand. Melbourne, Australia: Monash University Press. pp. 371-372.
    Philosophy and Literature is an internationally renowned refereed journal founded by Denis Dutton at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch. It is now published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Since its inception in 1976, Philosophy and Literature has been concerned with the relation between literary and philosophical studies, publishing articles on the philosophical interpretation of literature as well as the literary treatment of philosophy. Philosophy and Literature has sometimes been regarded as iconoclastic, in the sense that it repudiates academic pretensions, (...)
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  • In Defense of Semantic Externalism.Panu Raatikainen - 2020 - E-Logos 27 (2):57-70.
    The most popular and influential strategies used against semantic externalism and the causal theory of reference are critically examined. It is argued that upon closer scrutiny, none of them emerges as truly convincing.
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  • Realism, reference & perspective.Carl Hoefer & Genoveva Martí - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-22.
    This paper continues the defense of a version of scientific realism, Tautological Scientific Realism, that rests on the claim that, excluding some areas of fundamental physics about which doubts are entirely justified, many areas of contemporary science cannot be coherently imagined to be false other than via postulation of radically skeptical scenarios, which are not relevant to the realism debate in philosophy of science. In this paper we discuss, specifically, the threats of meaning change and reference failure associated with the (...)
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  • Theories of Reference: What Was the Question?Panu Raatikainen - 2020 - In Andrea Bianchi (ed.), Language and Reality From a Naturalistic Perspective: Themes From Michael Devitt. Springer. pp. 69–103.
    The new theory of reference has won popularity. However, a number of noted philosophers have also attempted to reply to the critical arguments of Kripke and others, and aimed to vindicate the description theory of reference. Such responses are often based on ingenious novel kinds of descriptions, such as rigidified descriptions, causal descriptions, and metalinguistic descriptions. This prolonged debate raises the doubt whether different parties really have any shared understanding of what the central question of the philosophical theory of reference (...)
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  • Nomes Próprios: por que a teoria causal de Perry não dá conta da retenção de crenças.Sagid Salles - 2016 - Investigação Filosófica 4:6-29.
    Tenho dois objetivos principais neste texto. Primeiro, defenderei que a versão de Perry da teoria causal da referência não dá conta de casos de retenção de crença. Faço isto por meio de um contraexemplo à teoria de Perry. Segundo, defenderei que uma versão específica de teoria da identificação é capaz de lidar com o contraexemplo apresentado e, neste sentido, é superior à teoria de Perry.
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  • ¿Soluciona el descriptivismo causal el problema de la referencia de los términos teóricos?Bruno Borge - 2017 - Ideas Y Valores 66 (163):125-151.
    Las teorías de la referencia puramente descriptivistas o causales fracasan a la hora de dar cuenta del modo en que se fija y puede rastrearse la referencia de los términos teóricos. Psillos propuso dos versiones del descriptivismo causal que recogen argu-mentos presentes en defensas previas de dicha posición. Se trata de una teoría mixta que pretende solucionar el problema y acomodarse a intuiciones presentes en enfo-ques alternativos, como el que apela a oraciones de Ramsey. El artículo se propone mostrar la (...)
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  • A Theory of Conceptual Advance: Explaining Conceptual Change in Evolutionary, Molecular, and Evolutionary Developmental Biology.Ingo Brigandt - 2006 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    The theory of concepts advanced in the dissertation aims at accounting for a) how a concept makes successful practice possible, and b) how a scientific concept can be subject to rational change in the course of history. Traditional accounts in the philosophy of science have usually studied concepts in terms only of their reference; their concern is to establish a stability of reference in order to address the incommensurability problem. My discussion, in contrast, suggests that each scientific concept consists of (...)
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  • Epistemic Two-Dimensionalism and Arguments From Epistemic Misclassification.Edward Elliott, Kelvin McQueen & Clas Weber - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):375-389.
    According to Epistemic Two-Dimensional Semantics (E2D), expressions have a counterfactual intension and an epistemic intension. Epistemic intensions reflect cognitive significance such that sentences with necessary epistemic intensions are a priori. We defend E2D against an influential line of criticism: arguments from epistemic misclassification. We focus in particular on the arguments of Speaks [2010] and Schroeter [2005]. Such arguments conclude that E2D is mistaken from (i) the claim that E2D is committed to classifying certain sentences as a priori, and (ii) the (...)
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  • Names, Descriptions and Causal Descriptions. Is the Magic Gone?Genoveva Martí - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):357-365.
    Some of the fundamental lessons of the so-called revolution against descriptivism that occurred in the 70s are negative and it is not immediately apparent what kind of semantic theory should emerge as regards proper names, the alleged paradigms of genuinely referential terms. Some of the claims about names, most notably Ruth Barcan Marcus’ characterization of names as tags, appear to be too picturesque to provide the basis for a positive theory and, without a theory, it would seem that the referential (...)
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  • Essentialist Plenitude and the Semantics of Proper Names.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Metaphysics 2 (1):16-25.
    A number of prominent metaphysicians have recently defended a set of ideas which I will call ‘essentialist plenitude.’ Very roughly, and to a first approximation, essentialist plenitude says that wherever there is an object with properties P1, …, Pn there is in fact a plenitude of coincident objects that differ only in the distribution of essentiality and accidentality across P1, …, Pn (§1). The main purpose of this paper is to arouse the suspicion that essentialist plenitude may have far-reaching consequences (...)
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  • Does causal descriptivism solve the problem of reference of theoretical terms?Bruno Borge - 2017 - Ideas Y Valores 66 (163):125-151.
    RESUMEN Las teorías de la referencia puramente descriptivistas o causales fracasan a la hora de dar cuenta del modo en que se fija y puede rastrearse la referencia de los términos teóricos. Psillos propuso dos versiones del descriptivismo causal que recogen argumentos presentes en defensas previas de dicha posición. Se trata de una teoría mixta que pretende solucionar el problema y acomodarse a intuiciones presentes en enfoques alternativos, como el que apela a oraciones de Ramsey. El artículo se propone mostrar (...)
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  • Theories of Reference and the Philosophy of Science.Panu Raatikainen - 2008
    It has sometimes been suggested that the so-called new theory of reference (NTR) would provide an alternative picture of meaning and reference which avoids the unwelcome consequences of the meaning-variance thesis and incommesurability. However, numerous philosophers of science have been quite critical towards the idea and NTR in general. It is argued that many of them have an over-simplified and, in part, mistaken understanding of what NTR amounts to. It is submitted that NTR, when correctly understood, can be an important (...)
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  • Reference and Modality: A Theory of Intensions.Alik Pelman - 2007 - Dissertation, University of London, UCL
    The study of reference often leads to addressing fundamental issues in semantics, metaphysics and epistemology; this suggests that reference is closely linked to the three realms. The overall purpose of this study is to elucidate the structure of some of these links, through a close examination of the “mechanism” of reference. As in many other enquiries, considering the possible (i.e., the modal,) in addition to the actual proves very helpful in clarifying and explicating insights. The reference of a term with (...)
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  • Cruel Intensions: An Essay on Intentional Identity and Intentional Attitudes.Alexander Sandgren - 2016 - Dissertation, The Australian National University
    Some intentional attitudes (beliefs, fears, desires, etc.) have a common focus in spite of there being no object at that focus. For example, two beliefs may be about the same witch even when there are no witches, different astronomers had beliefs directed at Vulcan, even though there is no such planet. This relation of having a common focus, whether or not there is an actual concrete object at that focus, is called intentional identity. In the first part of this thesis (...)
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  • Reference and Description Revisited.Frank Jackson - 1998 - Philosophical Perspectives 12:201-218.
  • Saving the Intuitions: Polylithic Reference.Ioannis Votsis - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):121 - 137.
    My main aim in this paper is to clarify the concepts of referential success and of referential continuity that are so crucial to the scientific realism debate. I start by considering the three dominant theories of reference and the intuitions that motivate each of them. Since several intuitions cited in support of one theory conflict with intuitions cited in support of another something has to give way. The traditional policy has been to reject all intuitions that clash with a chosen (...)
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  • Interactive Realism.Emma Ruttkamp - 2011 - South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):41-52.
    I investigate a new understanding of realism in science, referred to as ‘interactive realism’, and I suggest the ‘evolutionary progressiveness’ of a theory as novel criterion for this kind of realism. My basic claim is that we cannot be realists about anything except the progress affected by myriad science-reality interactions that are constantly moving on a continuum of increased ‘fitness’ determined according to empirical constraints. Moreover to reflect this movement accurately, there is a corresponding continuum of verdicts about the status (...)
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  • Names.Sam Cumming - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Reference Determination and Conceptual Change.Ingo Brigandt - manuscript
    The paper discusses reference determination from the point of view of conceptual change in science. The first part of the discussion uses the homology concept, a natural kind term from biology, as an example. It is argued that the causal theory of reference gives an incomplete account of reference determination even in the case of natural kind terms. Moreover, even if descriptions of the referent are taken into account, this does not yield a satisfactory account of reference in the case (...)
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  • Methodological Realism and Modal Resourcefulness: Out of the Web and Into the Mine.Lydia Patton - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3443-3462.
    Psillos, Kitcher, and Leplin have defended convergent scientific realism against the pessimistic meta-induction by arguing for the divide et impera strategy. I argue that DEI faces a problem more serious than the pessimistic meta-induction: the problem of accretion. When empirically successful theories and principles are combined, they may no longer make successful predictions or allow for accurate calculations, or the combination otherwise may be an empirical failure. The shift from classical mechanics to the new quantum theory does not reflect the (...)
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  • Against Causal Descriptivism.Panu Raatikainen - 2006 - Mind and Society 5 (1):78-84.
    Causal descriptivism and its relative nominal descriptivism are critically examined. It is argued that they do not manage to undermine the principal conclusions of the new theory of reference.
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  • Actually‐Rigidified Descriptivism Revisited.Jesper Kallestrup - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (1):5-21.
    In response to Kripke's modal argument contemporary descriptivists suggest that referring terms, e.g., ‘water’, are synonymous with actually‐rigidified definite descriptions, e.g., ‘the actual watery stuff’. Following Scott Soames, this strategy has the counterintuitive consequence that possible speakers on Perfect Earth cannot be ascribed water‐beliefs without beliefs about the actual world. Co‐indexing the actuality and possibility operators has the equally untoward result that possible speakers on Twin Earth are ascribed water‐beliefs. So, Soames's dilemma is that the descriptivist can account for either (...)
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