The Reference Book

Paperback | April 13, 2014

byJohn Hawthorne, David Manley

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John Hawthorne and David Manley present an original treatment of the semantic phenomenon of reference and the cognitive phenomenon of singular thought. In Part I, they argue against the idea that either is tied to a special relation of causal or epistemic acquaintance. Part II challenges thealleged semantic rift between definite and indefinite descriptions on the one hand, and names and demonstratives on the other - a division that has been motivated in part by appeals to considerations of acquaintance. Drawing on recent work in linguistics and philosophical semantics, Hawthorne andManley explore a more unified account of all four types of expression according to which none of them paradigmatically fits the profile of a referential term. On the preferred framework put forward in The Reference Book, all four types of expression involve existential quantification but admit of uses that exhibit many of the traits associated with reference - a phenomenon that is due to the presence of what Hawthorne and Manley call a "singularrestriction" on the existentially quantified domain. The book concludes by drawing out some implications of the proposed semantic picture for the traditional categories of reference and singular thought.

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John Hawthorne and David Manley present an original treatment of the semantic phenomenon of reference and the cognitive phenomenon of singular thought. In Part I, they argue against the idea that either is tied to a special relation of causal or epistemic acquaintance. Part II challenges thealleged semantic rift between definite and in...

John Hawthorne is Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at the University of Oxford, having previously been Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. His books include Knowledge and Lotteries, Metaphysical Essays, and Relativism and Monadic Truth. David Manley is Assistant Professor of Philosophy ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:April 13, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019870304X

ISBN - 13:9780198703044

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Table of Contents

Part I: Against acquaintance1. Introduction: reference and singular thought2. A defense of liberalism3. Epistemic acquaintancePart II: Beyond acquaintance4. From the specific to the singular5. What 'the'?6. Whither reference?AfterwordBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"John Hawthorne and David Manley have two main objectives in this excellent book. The first is to demolish the common assumption, following Bertrand Russell, that some kind of acquaintance is required for both (singular) reference and singular thought. The second is to establish a semanticuniformity among four kinds of noun phrases - specific indefinite descriptions, definite descriptions, demonstratives, and proper names ... a wonderful book. The authors' writing style is lively . . . readable, and clear, and their very careful consideration of all sides of every issue should leavereaders with a whole new appreciation of the complexity of those issues, and a sense that many of their automatic assumptions about the functioning of noun phrases in English (and most likely other languages as well) need to be revised." --Barbara Abbott, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews