Roads to Reference

An Essay on Reference Fixing in Natural Language
 
 
Oxford University Press
  • erschienen am 28. November 2019
  • |
  • 240 Seiten
 
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-0-19-258524-0 (ISBN)
 
How is it that words come to stand for the things they stand for? Is the thing that a word stands for - its reference - fully identified or described by conventions known to the users of the word? Or is there a more roundabout relation between the reference of a word and the conventions that determine or fix it? Do words like 'water', 'three', and 'red' refer to appropriate things, just as the word 'Aristotle' refers to Aristotle? If so, which things are these, and how do they come to be referred to by those words? In Roads to Reference, Mario Gómez-Torrente provides novel answers to these and other questions that have been of traditional interest in the theory of reference. The book introduces a number of cases of apparent indeterminacy of reference for proper names, demonstratives, and natural kind terms, which suggest that reference-fixing conventions for them adopt the form of lists of merely sufficient conditions for reference and reference failure. He then provides arguments for a new anti-descriptivist picture of those kinds of words, according to which the reference-fixing conventions for them do not describe their reference. This book also defends realist and objectivist accounts of the reference of ordinary natural kind nouns, numerals, and adjectives for sensible qualities. According to these accounts these words refer, respectively, to 'ordinary kinds', cardinality properties, and properties of membership in intervals of sensible dimensions, and these things are fixed in subtle ways by associated reference-fixing conventions.
  • Englisch
  • 1,27 MB
978-0-19-258524-0 (9780192585240)
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Mario Gómez-Torrente is a research professor at the Institute of Philosophical Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He was previously an ICREA research professor at the University of Barcelona and has held teaching or visiting appointments at Princeton University, University of Buenos Aires, University of Groningen, McGill University, and University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. His main interests are in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of logic.
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