In Language and Thought. Hawthorne: De Gruyter (1997)
The answer I shall sketch is not mine. Nor, as far as I can tell, is it an answer to be found in the voluminous literature inspired by Kripke’s work. Many of the elements of the answer are to be found in the writings of Wittgenstein and his Austro-German predecessors, Martinak, Husserl, Marty, Landgrebe and Bühler. Within this Austro-German tradition we may distinguish between a strand which is Platonist and anti-naturalist and a strand which is nominalist and naturalist. Thus Husserl’s account of what he calls “directly referring” uses of singular terms invokes senses or individual concepts, albeit simple, not descriptive senses. But the account of reference fixing and reference given by Landgrebe, Bühler and Wittgenstein rejects senses.1 I confine further reference to these writers to footnotes since my aim here is to develop and unify some of their suggestions, in particular by comparing them with more recent work (cf. Mulligan 1997).
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