On Reference

Hardcover | March 13, 2015

EditorAndrea Bianchi

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Most of the times we open our mouth to communicate, we talk about things. This can happen because (some of) the linguistic expressions we use have semantic properties that connect them to extra-linguistic entities. Thanks to these properties, they may be used by us to refer to things. Or, aswe may also say, they themselves refer to things, though in certain cases they do so only relative to a context of use. But how can we characterize the semantic properties in question? What exactly is reference? Philosophers have been trying to answer these questions at least since Plato's Cratylus,but not until the last century, when language occupied center-stage in philosophy, did the problem come to be felt as really pressing. In the last decade of the nineteenth century, Gottlob Frege produced an account of reference that set the stage for the contemporary discussion. Nevertheless, around 1970 a number of powerful arguments against it were produced by Saul Kripke and others. As a result, many philosophers began to lookat reference from a new perspective, which highlighted the crucial role played by wordly historical facts that may be unknown to the speakers. This semantic revolution, however, left us with a number of open problems. The eighteen original essays collected in this volume deal with many of theseproblems, thus contributing to our understanding of the nature of reference, its role in cognition, and the place it should be given in semantic theory.

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Most of the times we open our mouth to communicate, we talk about things. This can happen because (some of) the linguistic expressions we use have semantic properties that connect them to extra-linguistic entities. Thanks to these properties, they may be used by us to refer to things. Or, aswe may also say, they themselves refer to thi...

Andrea Bianchi is an Associate Professor in Philosophy of Language at the Universita degli Studi di Parma.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:432 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.16 inPublished:March 13, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198714084

ISBN - 13:9780198714088

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Table of Contents

Andrea Bianchi: Introduction - Open Problems on ReferenceI. The Nature of Reference1. Christopher Gauker: The Illusion of Semantic Reference2. Diego Marconi: Reference and Theories of Meaning as Use3. Edouard Machery, Justin Sytsma, and Max Deutsch: Speaker's Reference and Cross-Cultural Semantics4. Genoveva Marti: Reference Without Cognition5. Andrea Bianchi: Repetition and Reference6. Michael Devitt: Should Proper Names Still Seem So Problematic?II. Reference and Cognition7. Antonio Capuano: Thinking About an Individual8. Marga Reimer: Drawing, Seeing, Referring: Reflections on Macbeth's Dagger9. John Perry: The Cognitive Contribution of NamesIII. Reference and Semantics10. Ernesto Napoli: Names As Predicates?11. Robin Jeshion: Names Not Predicates12. Delia G. Fara: 'Literal' Uses of Proper Names13. Robin Jeshion: A Rejoinder to Fara's 'Literal' Uses of Proper Names'14. Marco Santambrogio: Empty Names, Propositions, and Attitude Ascriptions15. Angel Pinillos: Millianism, Relationism, and Attitude Ascriptions16. Sam Cumming: The Dilemma of Indefinites17. Joseph Almog, Paul Nichols, and Jessica Pepp: A Unified Treatment of (Pro-) Nominals in Ordinary English18. Edward L. Keenan: Individuals Explained Away