A deflationary theory of reference

Synthese 169 (1):51 - 73 (2009)
Abstract
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.
Keywords deflatinoism  reference  Horwich  Brandom  anaphoric theories  denotation  existential generalisation  singular terms  disquotationalism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-008-9336-4
Options
 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
Our Archive
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Truth.Paul Horwich - 1998 - Clarendon Press.
Truth.Paul Horwich - 1999 - In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), Erkenntnis. Oxford University Press. pp. 261-272.
Meaning.Paul Horwich - 1998 - Oxford University Press.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Why is a Truth-Predicate Like a Pronoun?Arvid Båve - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (2):297 - 310.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Close Enough to Reference.David B. Martens - 1993 - Synthese 95 (3):357 - 377.
The Roots of Reference.W. V. Quine - 1974 - Lasalle, Ill., Open Court.
Arguments From Reference and the Worry About Dependence.Ron Mallon - 2007 - In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Philosophy and the Empirical. Blackwell. pp. 160-183.
Against Arguments From Reference.Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):332 - 356.
Direct Reference in Thought and Speech.Kirk A. Ludwig - 1993 - Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 26 (1):49-76.
The Subsumption of Reference.David Braddon-Mitchell - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (1):157-178.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

325 ( #8,873 of 2,164,295 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #50,899 of 2,164,295 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums