Fixing Reference

Oxford University Press (2015)
Abstract
Imogen Dickie develops an account of aboutness-fixing for thoughts about ordinary objects, and of reference-fixing for the singular terms we use to express them. Extant discussions of this topic tread a weary path through descriptivist proposals, causalist alternatives, and attempts to combine the most attractive elements of each. The account developed here is a new beginning. It starts with two basic principles, the first of which connects aboutness and truth, and the second of which connects truth and justification. These principles combine to yield a third principle connecting aboutness and justification. Dickie uses the principle to explain how the relations to objects that enable us to think about them--perceptual attention; understanding of proper names; grasp of descriptions--do their aboutness-fixing and thought-enabling work. The book includes discussions of the nature of singular thought and the relation between thought and consciousness.
Keywords reference  aboutness  demonstratives  proper names  singular thought  descriptive names  empty names
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Reprint years 2018
ISBN(s) 9780198755616   9780198801795
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