Paul Horwich

in Meaning

Published in print December 1998 | ISBN: 9780198238249
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597725 | DOI:

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This chapter begins with criticism of ‘description’ and ‘causal’ theories—arguing that they should not be regarded as theories of reference. There then follows a deflationary account according to which our meaning what we do by ‘refers’ consists, roughly speaking, in our acceptance of the schema, ‘n’ (in quotes) refers to n (out of quotes)—and, more accurately, in our acceptance of ‘(x)(<n>refers to x ↔ n=x)’, where <n>is the prepositional constituent expressed by the singular term, “n”. Finally, there are accounts of the utility of this notion of reference and of the meanings of names.

Keywords: causal theory of reference; deflationary; description theory of reference; names; reference; singular terms; utility

Chapter.  6070 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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