Is There a “Qua Problem” for a Purely Causal Account of Reference Grounding?

Erkenntnis:1-18 (forthcoming)

Abstract

This article argues that the “qua problem” for purely causal theories of reference grounding is an illusion. Reference can be grounded via description and fit, but purely causal reference grounding is possible too. In fact, “arguments from ignorance and error” suggest that many of our terms have had their reference grounded purely causally. If the qua problem is illusory, then there is no need to adopt a “hybrid” theory of reference grounding of the kind recently recommended by Amie Thomasson and Ron Mallon. This opens the door to a “discovery model” of philosophical knowledge, a model we could then choose to accept.

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Max Emil Deutsch
University of Hong Kong

References found in this work

The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
Ordinary Objects.Amie L. Thomasson (ed.) - 2007 - Oxford University Press.

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