Direct reference in thought and speech

Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 26 (1):49-76 (1993)
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Abstract

I want to begin by distinguishing between what I will call a pure Fregean theory of reference and a theory of direct reference. A pure Fregean theory of reference holds that all reference to objects is determined by a sense or content. The kind of theory I have in mind is obviously inspired by Frege, but I will not be concerned with whether it is the theory that Frege himself held.1 A theory of direct reference, as I will understand it, denies that all reference to objects is determined by sense or content. We will also distinguish between a theory of reference for thought, and for language. This gives us a fourfold classification of theories. What is puzzling about direct reference theories is not that the semantics of an expression in a public language should assign as its semantic value just a referent, but how such facts could be understood to reflect an underlying feature of thought. There are two interconnected aspects to this..

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Kirk Ludwig
Indiana University, Bloomington

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References found in this work

Frege on Demonstratives.John Perry - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (4):474-497.
Belief De Re.Tyler Burge - 1977 - Journal of Philosophy 74 (6):338-362.
Is the Brain a Digital Computer?John R. Searle - 1990 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 64 (3):21-37.

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