Sense, Reference, and Philosophy develops the far-reaching consequences for philosophy of adopting non-Fregean intensionalism, showing that long-standing problems in the philosophy of language, and indeed other areas, that appeared intractable can now be solved. Katz proceeds to examine some of those problems in this new light, including the problem of names, natural kind terms, the Liar Paradox, the distinction between logical and extra-logical vocabulary, and the Raven paradox. In each case, a non-Fregean intentionalism provides a philosophically (...) more satisfying solution. (shrink)
It is argued on a variety of grounds that recent results in 'experimental philosophy of language', which appear to show that there are significant cross-cultural differences in intuitions about the reference of proper names, do not pose a threat to a more traditional mode of philosophizing about reference. Some of these same grounds justify a complaint about experimental philosophy as a whole.
The paper begins by acknowledging that weakened systematic precision in phenomenology has made its application in philosophy of science obscure and ineffective. The defining aspirations of early transcendental phenomenology are, however, believed to be important ones. A path is therefore explored that attempts to show how certain recent developments in the logic of self-reference fulfill in a clear and more rigorous fashion in the context of philosophy of science certain of the early hopes of phenomenologists. The resulting (...) dual approach is applied to several problems in the philosophy of science: on the one hand, to proposed rejections of scientific objectivity, to the doctrine of radical meaning variance, and to the Quine-Duhem thesis, and or. the other, to an analysis of hidden variable theory in quantum mechanics. (shrink)
Salmon's book is considered by some to be a classic in the philosophy of language movement known variously as the New Theory of Reference or the Direct Reference Theory, as well as in the metaphysics of essentialism that is related to this philosophy of language.
Reference is a central topic in philosophy of language, and has been the main focus of discussion about how language relates to the world. R. M. Sainsbury sets out a new approach to the concept, which promises to bring to an end some long-standing debates in semantic theory. Lucid and accessible, and written with a minimum of technicality, Sainsbury's book also includes a useful historical survey. It will be of interest to those working in logic, mind, and metaphysics (...) as well as essential reading for philosophers of language. (shrink)
Thought, Reference, and Experience is a collection of important new essays on topics at the intersection of philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and philosophical logic. The starting-point for the papers is the brilliant work of the British philosopher Gareth Evans before his untimely death in 1980 at the age of 34. Evans's work on reference and singular thought transformed the Fregean approach to the philosophy of thought and language, showing how seemingly technical issues in (...) philosophical semantics are inextricably linked to fundamental questions about the structure of our thinking about ourselves and about the world. The papers, all newly written for this volume, explore different aspects of Evans's philosophical legacy, showing its importance to central areas in contemporary analytic philosophy. The volume includes a substantial introduction that introduces the principal themes in Evans's thought and places the papers in context. (shrink)
Covering the work of Frege, Russell, and more recent work on singular reference, this important book examines the concepts of perceptually-based demonstrative identification, thought about oneself, and recognition-based demonstrative identification.
Two distinctions within the category of designators -- Further defining the central theses -- Structure and rigidity -- Structure and naming -- Interlude: interim review and a look ahead -- Referential uses of denoting expressions -- Complex referring expressions -- Summary, overview, and general morals.
Gareth Evans was arguably the finest philosopher of his generation; he died tragically young, but the work he completed has had a seismic impact on the philosophies of language and mind. In this volume an outstanding international team of contributors offer illuminating perspectives on Evans's groundbreaking work, paying tribute to his achievements and leading his ideas in new directions. Contributors Josi Luis Bermzdez, John Campbell, Quassim Cassam, E. J. Lowe, John McDowell, Christopher Peacocke, Ian Rumfitt, Ken Safir, Mark Sainsbury.
Following his recently expanded _The Problem of the Essential Indexical and Other Essays,_ John Perry develops a reflexive-referential' account of indexicals, demonstratives and proper names. On these issues the philosophy of language in the twentieth century was shaped by two competing traditions, descriptivist and referentialist. Oddly, the classic referentialist texts of the 1970s by Kripke, Donnellan, Kaplan and others were seemingly refuted almost a century earlier by co-reference and no-reference problems raised by Russell and Frege. Perry's theory, (...) borrowing ideas from both traditions as well as from Burks and Reichenbach, diagnoses the problems as stemming from a fixation on a certain kind of content, coined referential or fully incremental. Referentialist tradition is portrayed as holding that indexicals contribute content that involves individuals without identifying conditions on them; descriptivist tradition is portrayed as holding that referential content does not explain all of the identifying conditions conveyed by names and indexicals. Perry reveals a coherent and structured family of contents — from reflexive contents that place conditions on their actual utterance to fully incremental contents that place conditions only on the objects of reference — reconciling the legitimate insights of both traditions. (shrink)
Reference is a central topic in philosophy of language, and has been the main focus of discussion about how language relates to the world. R. M. Sainsbury sets out a new approach to the concept, which promises to bring to an end some long-standing debates in semantic theory.There is a single category of referring expressions, all of which deserve essentially the same kind of semantic treatment. Included in this category are both singular and plural referring expressions, complex and (...) non-complex referring expressions, and empty and non-empty referring expressions. Referring expressions are to be described semantically by a reference condition, rather than by being associated with a referent. In arguing for these theses, Sainsbury's book promises to end the fruitless oscillation between Millian and descriptivist views. Millian views insist that every name has a referent, and find it hard to give a good account of names which appear not to have referents, or at least are not known to do so, like ones introduced through error, ones where it is disputed whether they have a bearer and ones used in fiction. Descriptivist theories require that each name be associated with some body of information. These theories fly in the face of the fact names are useful precisely because there is often no overlap of information among speakers and hearers. The alternative position for which the book argues is firmly non-descriptivist, though it also does not require a referent. A much broader view can be taken of which expressions are referring expressions: not just names and pronouns used demonstratively, but also some complex expressions and some anaphoric uses of pronouns.Sainsbury's approach brings reference into line with truth: no one would think that a semantic theory should associate a sentence with a truth value, but it is commonly held that a semantic theory should associate a sentence with a truth condition, a condition which an arbitrary state of the world would have to satisfy in order to make the sentence true. The right analogy is that a semantic theory should associate a referring expression with a reference condition, a condition which an arbitrary object would have to satisfy in order to be the expression's referent.Lucid and accessible, and written with a minimum of technicality, Sainsbury's book also includes a useful historical survey. It will be of interest to those working in logic, mind, and metaphysics as well as essential reading for philosophers of language. (shrink)
This book deals with a major problem in the study of language: the problem of reference. The ease with which we refer to things in conversation is deceptive. Upon closer scrutiny, it turns out that we hardly ever tell each other explicitly what object we mean, although we expect our interlocutor to discern it. Amichai Kronfeld provides an answer to two questions associated with this: how do we successfully refer, and how can a computer be programmed to achieve this? (...) Beginning with the major theories of reference, Dr Kronfeld provides a consistent philosophical view which is a synthesis of Frege's and Russell's semantic insights with Grice's and Searle's pragmatic theories. This leads to a set of guiding principles, which are then applied to a computational model of referring. The discussion is made accessible to readers from a number of backgrounds: in particular, students and researchers in the areas of computational linguistics, artificial intelligence and the philosophy of language will want to read this book. (shrink)
This volume puts forward a distinct new theory of direct reference, blending insights from both the Fregean and the Russellian traditions, and fitting the general theory of language understanding used by those working on the pragmatics of natural language.
Gottlob Frege (1848-1925) is considered the father of modern logic and one of the founding figures of analytic philosophy. He was first and foremost a mathematician, but his major works also made important contributions to the philosophy of language. Frege’s writings are difficult and deal with technical, abstract concepts. The Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Frege On Sense and Reference helps the student to get to grips with Frege’s thought, and introduces and assesses: the background of Frege’s (...) philosophical work Frege’s main papers and arguments, focussing on his distinction between sense and reference the continuing importance of Frege’s work to philosophy of logic and language. Ideal for those coming to Frege for the first time, and containing fresh insights for anyone interested in his philosophy, this Guidebook is essential reading for all students of philosophy of language, philosophical logic and the history of analytic philosophy. (shrink)
In recent years, experimental philosophers have questioned the reliance of philosophical arguments on intuitions elicited by thought experiments. These challenges seek to undermine the use of this methodology for a particular domain of theorizing, and in some cases to raise doubts about the viability of philosophical work in the domain in question. The topic of semantic reference has been an important area for discussion of these issues, one in which critics of the reliance on intuitions have made particularly strong (...) claims about the prospects for philosophical theories of reference and arguments based on claims about reference. In this article, I review the main lines of argument in this area of experimental philosophy, with particular emphasis on the relevance of empirical data about intuitions to philosophical views. I argue that although traditional philosophical theorizing about reference faces little threat from experimental data about intuitions, there is nevertheless much to be gained from collecting and analyzing such data, which holds the promise of greatly enriching our conception of the mechanisms governing judgments about semantic reference in ways that are highly relevant to philosophers. (shrink)
Presenting a novel account of singular thought, a systematic application of recent work in the theory of speech acts, and a partial revival of Russell's analysis of singular terms, this book takes an original approach to the perennial problems of reference and singular terms by separating the underlying issues into different levels of analysis.
A musical experience is marked by the synthesis of passion and rationality, emotion and understanding, and body and mind. Ferrara demonstrates that each method of musical analysis confines musical significance to a single level. He devises an "eclectic method" that provides bridges for musical sound, form, and reference. In response to the multiplicity of levels of musical significance Ferrara's eclectic method draws upon a wide-ranging number of conventional and nonconventional approaches to musical analysis which results in a dialectic of (...) methods. (shrink)
The flight to reference is a widely-used strategy for resolving philosophical issues. The three steps in a flight to reference argument are: (1) offer a substantive account of the reference relation, (2) argue that a particular expression refers (or does not refer), and (3) draw a philosophical conclusion about something other than reference, like truth or ontology. It is our contention that whenever the flight to reference strategy is invoked, there is a crucial step that (...) is left undefended, and that without a defense of this step, the flight to reference is a fatally flawed strategy; it cannot succeed in resolving philosophical issues. In this paper we begin by setting out the flight to reference strategy and explaining what is wrong with arguments that invoke the strategy. We then illustrate the problem by considering arguments for and against eliminative materialism. In the final section we argue that much the same problem undermines Philip Kitcher's attempt to defend scientific realism. (shrink)
John Campbell investigates how consciousness of the world explains our ability to think about the world; how our ability to think about objects we can see depends on our capacity for conscious visual attention to those things. He illuminates classical problems about thought, reference, and experience by looking at the underlying psychological mechanisms on which conscious attention depends.
Definite descriptions, I shall argue, have two possible functions. 1] They are used to refer to what a speaker wishes to talk about, but they are also used quite differently. Moreover, a definite description occurring in one and the same sentence may, on different occasions of its use, function in either way. The failure to deal with this duality of function obscures the genuine referring use of definite descriptions. The best known theories of definite descriptions, those of Russell and Strawson, (...) I shall suggest, are both guilty of this. Before discussing this distinction in use, I will mention some features of these theories to which it is especially relevant. (shrink)
These fifteen original essays address the core semantic concepts of reference and referring from both philosophical and linguistic perspectives. After an introductory essay that casts current trends in reference and referring in terms of an ongoing dialogue between Fregean and Russellian approaches, the book addresses specific topics, balancing breadth of coverage with thematic unity. The contributors, all leading or emerging scholars, address trenchant neo-Fregean challenges to the direct reference position; consider what positive claims can be made about (...) the mechanism of reference; address the role of a theory of reference within broader theoretical context; and investigate other kinds of linguistic expressions used in referring activities that may themselves be referring expressions. The topical unity and accessibility of the essays, the stage-setting introductory essay, and the comprehensive index combine to make R _eference and Referring_, along with the other books in the Topics in Contemporary Philosophy series, appropriate for use in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses. (shrink)
Revisiting the work of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century philosophers, when the split between analytical and continental philosophy began, Thomas-Fogiel finds both traditions followed the same path—the road of reference—which ...
The papers in this collection discuss the central questions about the connections between language, reality and human understanding. The complex relations between accounts of meaning and facts about ordinary speakers’ understanding of their language are examined so as to illuminate the philosophical character of the connections between language and reality. The collection as a whole is a thematically unified treatment of some of the most central questions within contemporary philosophy of language.
This bibliography documents English-speaking and German-speaking books and articles concerning the subject 'reference' and some related topics that belong to the field of Analytical Philosophy. More than 2000 monographs, articles, and collections (from th.
It has sometimes been suggested that the so-called new theory of reference (NTR) would provide an alternative picture of meaning and reference which avoids the unwelcome consequences of the meaning-variance thesis and incommesurability. However, numerous philosophers of science have been quite critical towards the idea and NTR in general. It is argued that many of them have an over-simplified and, in part, mistaken understanding of what NTR amounts to. It is submitted that NTR, when correctly understood, can be (...) an important ingredient in the realist toolkit for defending the rationality of science. (shrink)
The present information explosion on the World Wide Web poses a problem for the general public and the members of an academic discipline alike, of how to find the most authoritative, comprehensive, and up-to-date information about an important topic. At the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), we have since 1995 been developing and implementing the concept of a dynamic reference work (DRW) to provide a solution to these problems, while maintaining free access for readers. A DRW is much (...) more than a web-based encyclopedia, and its scope far exceeds that of an electronic journal or preprint exchange. In this arti cle we document the progress of the SEP toward full implementation of the DRW concept. We discuss the fiscal challenges posed by our desire to maintain free or low-cost access to the contents of the SEP, and we consider technological challenges posed by the desire to stay abreast of technological developments in docu ment markup while making it easy for authors and subject editors to write and maintain entries representing the very best scholarship. (shrink)
Description: The book points to a new logic of singular designators based upon a close analysis of work in the area by contemporary philosophers of language. The philosophers range from Frege, Russell, Quine, Strawson and Dummett to Kripke, Hintikka, Plantinga, Kaplan, Donnellan, Searle and Burge. It is generally taken for granted that proper names are rigid designators, having no meaning content, which explains their intranslatability into other languages. However, they do have their modes of presentation that must constitute their sense. (...) There is little room for contradiction here in admitting that proper names have a sense, which does not amount to meaning. One of the advantages of this position is that it blocks the emergence of the Kripkean puzzle about belief by accepting different belief contents corresponding to a variation in the senses of the names involved. Is Kripke's distinction between rigid and non-rigid designators finally valid' the author asks, questioning the corollaries that are supposed to follow from the distinction, viz., that proper names do not have descriptive backing, and that there are contingent a priori truths. He draws our attention to predicative occurrences of proper names, in the modal context, matching corresponding occurrences of definite descriptions. His explanation of contingency, where proper names or definite descriptions are involved, is innovatively straight, simple and broad-based, at par with situations having ordinary predicates. Parts of the book have taken a final shape in response to comments by Strawson, Dummett and Burge. (shrink)