Evans' Varieties of Reference and the anchoring problem

To think about how to anchor abstract symbols to objects in the world is to become part of a tradition in philosophy with a long history, and an especially rich recent past. It is to ask, with Wittgenstein, “What makes my thought about him, a thought about him?” and thus it is to wonder not just about the nature of referring expressions or singular terms, but about the nature of referring beings. With this in mind I hereby endeavor—briefly, incompletely, but hopefully still usefully—to introduce what in my judgment is the single best philosophical starting-point for those interested in understanding the referential connections between symbols and the world, and the cognitive, epistemic, and linguistic capacities which support them: The Varieties of Reference by Gareth Evans.1 It is worthwhile first of all to note, as the title indicates, that it is the varieties of reference that are of interest. It is Evans’ contention that no single theory can account for our various use of singular terms; although the different kinds of reference share certain features, and rely on related cognitive, linguistic and epistemic capacities, it appears that, rather than being a class defined by necessary and sufficient criteria for membership, they form a family of abilities, united, like a thread, by its overlapping fibers. Evans does not defend this claim so much as display it in his account. Much of the underlying variety in reference can be brought out by considering the guiding principle of the work as a whole, which Evans..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,349
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Evans on Identification-Freedom.Rick Grush - 2007 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (4):605-617.
Singular Terms and Reference: Evans and "Julius".Ronald Chrisley - 1998 - Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6.
Reference, Contingency, and the Two-Dimensional Framework.Martin Davies - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 118 (1-2):83-131.
The Varieties of Reference. By Gareth Evans.Robin Smith - 1986 - Modern Schoolman 63 (3):222-224.
Success in Referential Communication.Matthias Paul - 1999 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.
What Does It Take To Refer?Kent Bach - 2006 - In Ernest Lepore & Barry Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 516--554.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
48 ( #111,803 of 2,193,595 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #290,647 of 2,193,595 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature