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.
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
This article surveys recent literature by Parsons, McGee, Shapiro and others on the significance of categoricity arguments in the philosophy of mathematics. After discussing whether categoricity arguments are sufficient to secure reference to mathematical structures up to isomorphism, we assess what exactly is achieved by recent ‘internal’ renditions of the famous categoricity arguments for arithmetic and set theory.
Willard Van Orman Quine's work revolutionized the fields of epistemology, semantics and ontology. At the heart of his philosophy are several interconnected doctrines: his rejection of conventionalism and of the linguistic doctrine of logical and mathematical truth, his rejection of the analytic/synthetic distinction, his thesis of the indeterminacy of translation and his thesis of the inscrutability of reference. In this book Edward Becker sets out to interpret and explain these doctrines. He offers detailed analyses of the relevant texts, discusses (...) Quine's views on meaning, reference and knowledge, and shows how Quine's views developed over the years. He also proposes a new version of the linguistic doctrine of logical truth, and a new way of rehabilitating analyticity. His rich exploration of Quine's thought will interest all those seeking to understand and evaluate the work of one of the most important philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century. (shrink)
Against the dominant view in contemporary Hobbes scholarship, I argue that Hobbes’ philosophy of language implicitly denies that linguistic expressions refer to anything. I defend this thesis both textually, in light of what Hobbes actually said, and contextually, in light of Hobbes’ desertion of the vocabulary of suppositio, which was prevalent in semantics leading up to Hobbes. Hobbes explained away the apparent fact of linguistic reference via a reductive analysis: the relation between words and things wholly reduces to a (...) composite of the relation of signification between words and conceptions on the one hand, and the relation of representation between conceptions and things on the other. Intentionality, for Hobbes, accrues to conceptions, not words. (shrink)
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)
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 article 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 document markup while making it easy for authors and subject editors to write and maintain entries representing the very best scholarship. (shrink)
Summary It would be convenient to pretend that the histories of educational philosophy in Britain and, by extension, the USA and Australia, were responses to a common social and intellectual history but convenience in this case could only be accomplished at the expense of explanatory power. The history of educational philosophy in these three places is parallel but not in common. Philosophy of education in Britain is more closely related to philosophy than is philosophy of education in the USA. Philosophy (...) of education in the USA appropriated the lead of the American Social Science Association and initially retained closer connections with social science than did its English counterpart. Nevertheless, it is argued here that educational philosophy's reference to social science?Victorian and modern?is the missing explanatory element in modem histories of the discipline. The appropriation of education by social science?a common feature of the intellectual history of education in Britain, Australasia, and the USA?leavened the research agenda of educational philosophy in Britain. Peters? educational work can be best understood as an attempt to reunite education with moral philosophy such that the study of education would resume a profile similar to its nineteenth?century counterpart, when it was moral philosophy that provided the most interesting discussions of human nature, primitive customs, and social institutions?education among them. (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)
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 cyclical theory f time, which is better known under the name of the 'theory of eternal recurrence,' is usually associated with certain ancient thinkers--in particular, Pythagoreans and Stoics. The most famous among those who have tried to revive the theory in the modern era is unquestionably Friedrich Nietzsche. It is less well known that the theory was defended also by C.S. Peirce and, as late as 1927, by the French historian of science, Abel Rey. The contemporary discussion of the (...) problem of the direction of time has a direct bearing on the problem of eternal recurrence. The primary purpose of this paper is to evaluate critically the theory itself and then to show how this critical analysis can be applied to Peirce's own version of this theory. (shrink)
In this transdisciplinary article which stems from philosophical considerations (that depart from phenomenology—after Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger and Rosen—and Hegelian dialectics), we develop a conception based on topological (the Moebius surface and the Klein bottle) and geometrical considerations (based on torsion and non-orientability of manifolds), and multivalued logics which we develop into a unified world conception that surmounts the Cartesian cut and Aristotelian logic. The role of torsion appears in a self-referential construction of space and time, which will be further related to (...) the commutator of the True and False operators of matrix logic, still with a quantum superposed state related to a Moebius surface, and as the physical field at the basis of Spencer-Brown’s primitive distinction in the protologic of the calculus of distinction. In this setting, paradox, self-reference, depth, time and space, higher-order non-dual logic, perception, spin and a time operator, the Klein bottle, hypernumbers due to Musès which include non-trivial square roots of ±1 and in particular non-trivial nilpotents, quantum field operators, the transformation of cognition to spin for two-state quantum systems, are found to be keenly interwoven in a world conception compatible with the philosophical approach taken for basis of this article. The Klein bottle is found not only to be the topological in-formation for self-reference and paradox whose logical counterpart in the calculus of indications are the paradoxical imaginary time waves, but also a classical-quantum transformer (Hadamard’s gate in quantum computation) which is indispensable to be able to obtain a complete multivalued logical system, and still to generate the matrix extension of classical connective Boolean logic. We further find that the multivalued logic that stems from considering the paradoxical equation in the calculus of distinctions, and in particular, the imaginary solutions to this equation, generates the matrix logic which supersedes the classical logic of connectives and which has for particular subtheories fuzzy and quantum logics. Thus, from a primitive distinction in the vacuum plane and the axioms of the calculus of distinction, we can derive by incorporating paradox, the world conception succinctly described above. (shrink)
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)
Even as dismissive of pursuing Comparative Philosophy for achieving East-West synthesis in philosophy, the author maintains the need for “open philosophizing.” “Open philosophizing” is one characterized by dialogical openness to culturally diverse philosophical traditions and thought-patterns.
The fundamental problem of Jan Srzednicki’s new epistemology is the question: how thoughts surpass the resistance of that what is ontologically present, how this process is possible? In Srzednicki’s opinion, thinking is a process of distancing from the pressure of ontological presence. His ideas offer a splendid inspiration for philosophy of medicine which attempts to answer the question “whether (and how) a disease is cognizable?” This question refers directly to and is translated into the question of the capacity to diagnose (...) particular diseases. Answering to the above stated question whether disease is cognizable we should answer in the affirmative, however, in a “modified” form that its pre-cognitive resistance to reality is formed at the articulated level. Somewhat intuitively we feel the presence of a disease before we express it in words as a disease according to our scientific or informal thought style. (shrink)
Originally published in 1914, this book examines the French Voluntarist school of philosophy and the key ways in which it differs from the Pragmatists. Stebbing argues that Voluntarism and Pragmatism both prove inadequate in their definition of truth, and suggests that an acknowledgment of the 'non-existential character of truth' is needed. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in philosophy.
Preface to the second edition -- Preface to the first edition -- Introduction -- Contents and propositions -- Utterance and context -- Context and cognitive paths -- Meanings and contents -- Names and the co-reference problem -- Names, networks, and notions -- The no-reference problem -- Pragmatics -- Unarticulated constituents -- Contents and attitudes -- Conclusion.
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)
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.
Offers a summary account of the history of philosophical thought through the 19th century, an unusually updated and balanced account of 20th century thought, and lengthy chapters on the history of Chinese and Indian thought. Selected by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Book of 1988-1989.