Reference and ethnic-group terms

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):528 – 544 (2004)
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The increasingly pluralistic character of modern societies has led to questions, not only about the proper use of ethnic-group terms, but also about the correct semantic analysis of them. Here I argue that ethnic-group terms are analogous to other linguistic expressions whose extension is fixed in the way suggested by a causal theory of reference. My view accommodates precisely those scenarios of communication involving ethnic-group terms that will be seen puzzling to Fregeans. At the same time, it undermines the plausibility of skepticism about those terms.


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Susana Nuccetelli
St. Cloud State University

Citations of this work

Latin American Philosophy: Metaphilosophical Foundations.Susana Nuccetelli - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
The Varieties of Reference.Louise M. Antony - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (2):275.
Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.

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