Direct Singular Reference: Intended Reference Andactual Reference

P. F. Strawson

in Entity and Identity

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250159
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598470 | DOI:
 Direct Singular Reference: Intended Reference Andactual Reference

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In the ideal (and normal) case of successful direct reference to an individual particular (1) there exists a particular individual that the speaker means (i.e. intends to refer to), (2) the singular term (name or description) the speaker uses applies to that individual, (3) there is an individual the audience would, in the circumstances, naturally take to be the object of reference, and (4) the latter is identical with the intended object of reference. There can occur cases of failure of one or more of these conditions. Various possibilities of description of such cases are listed. What is important is not to choose between them but to understand both the normal case and these possibilities.

Keywords: audience; individual; intended; reference; singular term

Chapter.  2704 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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