Husserl’s Theory of Meaning and Reference

In L. Haaparanta (ed.), Mind, Meaning and Mathematics: Essays on the Philosophy of Husserl and Frege. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 163-183 (1994)
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This paper is a contribution to the historical roots of the analytical tradition. As Michael Dummett points out in his Origins of Analytic Philosophy, many tendencies in Central European thought contributed to the early development of analytic philosophy. Dummett himself concentrates on just one aspect of this historical complex, namely on the relationship between the theories of meaning and reference developed by Frege and by Husserl in the years around the turn of the century. It is to this specific issue that the present essay is devoted, though we attempt a more sympathetic reading of Husserl's views on these matters than is to be found in Dummett’s work. Topics covered include Husserl’s theory of intentionality, his view of meanings as types or essences of mental acts, of the relation between meaning and expression, of states of affairs, and of indexicality.



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Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo