In Andrea Bianchi (ed.), Language and Reality From a Naturalistic Perspective: Themes From Michael Devitt. Springer. pp. 69–103 (2020)

Panu Raatikainen
Tampere University
The new theory of reference has won popularity. However, a number of noted philosophers have also attempted to reply to the critical arguments of Kripke and others, and aimed to vindicate the description theory of reference. Such responses are often based on ingenious novel kinds of descriptions, such as rigidified descriptions, causal descriptions, and metalinguistic descriptions. This prolonged debate raises the doubt whether different parties really have any shared understanding of what the central question of the philosophical theory of reference is: what is the main question to which descriptivism and the causal-historical theory have presented competing answers. One aim of the paper is to clarify this issue. The most influential objections to the new theory of reference are critically reviewed. Special attention is also paid to certain important later advances in the new theory of reference, due to Devitt and others.
Keywords Reference  Meaning  Descriptivism  New theory of reference  Frege's puzzles
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.

View all 139 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Natural kind terms again.Panu Raatikainen - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-17.
Chalmers and Semantics.Panu Raatikainen - 2021 - Theoria 87 (5):1193-1221.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Against Causal Descriptivism.Panu Raatikainen - 2006 - Mind and Society 5 (1):78-84.
Direct Reference in Thought and Speech.Kirk A. Ludwig - 1993 - Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 26 (1):49-76.
Marginal Notes on the Theory of Reference.Gary H. Merrill - 1979 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 9 (1):35-50.
Marginal Notes on the Theory of Reference.Gary H. Merrill - 1979 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 9 (1):35-50.
Referentiality in Frege and Heidegger.Barbara Fultner - 2005 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 31 (1):37-52.
Desires, Descriptivism, and Reference Failure.Alexander Hughes - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):279-296.
The Subsumption of Reference.David Braddon-Mitchell - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (1):157-178.
Bootstrapping Our Way to Samesaying.Laura Schroeter - 2012 - Synthese 189 (1):177-197.


Added to PP index

Total views
3,505 ( #954 of 2,499,401 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
533 ( #737 of 2,499,401 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes