The Reference Book
OUP Oxford, Mar 29, 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 264 pages
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 the alleged 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 and Manley 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 'singular restriction' 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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Common terms and phrases
acceptable acquaintance actual allow appears approach argue argument assignment attitude audience belief calling causal Chapter claim Consider CONSTRAINT context contrast course covert David definite definite descriptions demonstratives determiner discussion domain element epistemic Evans example existential exists explain expression fact failed false function given hold idea indefinite individual introduced intuitions involve issue John kind King knowledge language least linguistic meaning names natural Note noun object one’s ordinary particular philosophers phrase pick position possible predicate present presupposition principle problem proposition quantifier question reading reason reference referential relation relative relevant reports representation requires restriction restrictor result rigid satisfied scope seems semantic sense sentence setting simply singular thought Smith someone sort speaker specific specific indefinites Suppose talking thing treat true truth truth-conditional turn understanding unique utterance variable various wants