Referential Mechanics: Direct Reference and the Foundations of Semantics by Joseph Almog

Referential Mechanics: Direct Reference and the Foundations of Semantics

byJoseph Almog

Hardcover | March 4, 2014

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This volume is focused on understanding a key idea in modern semantics - direct reference - and its integration into a general semantics for natural language. In the first three chapters, foundational analyses from three philosophers - Saul Kripke, David Kaplan and Keith Donnellan - aredissected in detail. The differences between their respective ideas lead to varying consequences in the philosophy of mind, the metaphysics of necessity, and the epistemological idea of a priori knowledge. In the last chapter, two central puzzles said to threaten direct reference are raised. One is Frege's puzzle about judgments of cognitive significance and informativeness. This puzzle is analyzed and is shown to be the opposite of a threat; informative identities are, in effect, a consequence of thenew cognitive insights behind direct reference. The second puzzle, the Partee-Kaplan, is a threat: how to unify the referential semantics of nouns with the seemingly non referential semantics of denoting phrases?The volume criticizes the concept of a unifying methodology-assimilating the referential nouns to the complex denoting phrases by way of (set theoretic) "ontological sublimation" - as proposed by Montague - and launches an orthogonal unification methodology generalizing direct reference to thecommon nouns anchoring the denoting phrases.

About The Author

Joseph Almog is the author of Everything in Its Right Place (forthcoming), Cogito: Descartes and Thinking the World (2008), What Am I? Descartes and the Mind-Body Problem (2001) and co-editor of Essays on Reference, Language, and Mind (2012), Having in Mind: The Philosophy of Keith Donnellan (2012), and The Philosophy of David Kaplan (...
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Details & Specs

Title:Referential Mechanics: Direct Reference and the Foundations of SemanticsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:168 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:March 4, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199314373

ISBN - 13:9780199314379

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgementsIntroductionPart I - Direct Reference by DesignationPart II - Direct Reference by Singular PropositionPart III - Direct Reference by Referential UsePart IV - Foundational Questions-Two Central PuzzlesIndex