When I assertively utter the sentence `Spot is a cat', the sentence I utter expresses a proposition. The truth condition of the proposition so expressed is determined by the semantic values of the singular term, `Spot', and the predicate, `is a cat'. If `Spot' refers to a certain particular entity E and `is a cat' expresses a certain particular property P, then the proposition in question is true if and only if E has P. Such is the theoretical cash value of reference. The referent of a given singular term generally figures in this manner in the truth condition of the proposition expressed by any sentence containing the singular term outside direct quotations and other referentially opaque contexts.1 Given this understanding of the notion of reference, I wish to address an important question: How is the reference of a proper name determined?
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