Aspects of a Theory of Singular Reference: Prolegomena to a Dialectical Logic of Singular Terms

Garland (1985)
The difficulties encountered by attempts to treat identity as a relation between an object and itself are well-known: "...the sentence 'The morning star is...the morning star' is analytic and a truism, while...'The morning star is the evening star' is synthetic and represents a 'valuable extension of our knowledge'... But if {the morning star} and {the evening star} are the same object, and identity is taken as a relation holding between this object and itself, then it is impossible to explain how the two sentences can differ in cognitive content... ". Russell's solution to these difficulties rejects the identification of logical with grammatical form, in effect denying that such sentences assert relations between the morning star and itself. The logical representations which the Russellian proposes, contain quantifiers, predicate letters, and individual variables, but no expressions standing for particulars. The Fregean solution, while admitting logical representations whose nominal expressions stand for particulars, insists that the meaning of such expressions is different from their reference. Frege-Russell analyses thus both deny that the morning star is involved qua particular in the meaning of the sentences in question. ;Rather than replace the morning star as ontological subject of these sentences, I suggest that their difference in meaning arises from the kind of particular that the identity-relation relates--a particular which, unlike its Frege-Russell counterpart, is two-sided and multi-faceted. Such a particular requires an ambiguous singular term. In Chapter 1, I utilize such a term to provide a surfacist account of belief-context ambiguity requiring neither differences in relative scope nor distinctions between sense and reference. In Chapter 2, I go on to provide an account of negative existentials, necessity- and identity-statements which resolves philosophical problems that Russell-Frege analyses only avoid. To solve these problems, I show that it is necessary to reject two canons of philosophical logic, the Law of Identity and the Indiscernibility of Identicals
Keywords Reference (Philosophy  Semantics (Philosophy  Logic  English language Categorial grammar
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book $2000.00 new   $2000.00 used    Amazon page
Call number B105.R25.G74 1985
ISBN(s) 0824054296  
 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
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,422
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
C. Daniels (1972). Reference and Singular Referring Terms. Journal of Philosophical Logic 1 (1):86 - 102.
Richard Brown (2007). Language, Thought, Logic, and Existence. CALIPSO (Conference Addresses of the Long Island Philosophical Society Online) 1 (2):

Monthly downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

Added to index


Total downloads


Recent downloads (6 months)


How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.