Success in Referential Communication

Front Cover
Springer Science & Business Media, Sep 30, 1999 - Computers - 172 pages
One of the most basic themes in the philosophy of language is referential uptake, viz., the question of what counts as properly `understanding' a referring act in communication. In this inquiry, the particular line pursued goes back to Strawson's work on re-identification, but the immediate influence is that of Gareth Evans. It is argued that traditional and recent proposals fail to account for success in referential communication. A novel account is developed, resembling Evans' account in combining an external success condition with a Fregean one. But, in contrast to Evans, greater emphasis is placed on the action-enabling side of communication. Further topics discussed include the role of mental states in accounting for communication, the impact of re-identification on the understanding of referring acts, and Donnellan's referential/attributive distinction.
Readership: Philosophers, cognitive scientists and semanticists.
 

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Contents

CHARACTERIZING REFERENTIAL COMMUNICATION
1
1 An Intuitive Characterization of Referential Communication
2
2 Reference to Particulars
7
3 Referring Expressions
19
MENTAL STATES IN REFERENTIAL COMMUNICATION
31
2 The Synchronic Features of Ideas
37
3 The Diachronic Features of Ideas and Donnellans Distinction
40
REIDENTIFICATION IN REFERENTIAL COMMUNICATION
49
13 A Meinongean Defense
97
2 Fregean Accounts of Communicative Success
100
21 The Problem of Diversity
102
22 The Similarity Strategy and Why it Fails
108
EVANS ACCOUNT OF SUCCESS IN REFERENTIAL COMMUNICATION
113
1 Genuine and Quasi Referential Communication
114
2 The Argument from Understanding
120
3 Evans Argument from Unity
129

1 Models of ReIdentification in Referential Communication
50
2 Is ReIdentification Required for Communicative Success?
55
3 Does it Matter How ReIdentification Gets Established?
60
ACCOUNTING FOR MENTAL REFERENCE
68
1 Satisfactional Accounts of Mental Reference
69
2 Causal Accounts of Mental Reference
73
3 Hybrid Accounts of Mental Reference
80
TRADITIONAL ACCOUNTS OF SUCCESS IN REFERENTIAL COMMUNICATION
89
1 ObjectDependent Accounts of Communicative Success
90
11 The Problem of Communicative Failure Despite Sameness in Reference
91
12 The Problem of Communicative Success without Reference
95
A NEW ACCOUNT OF SUCCESS IN REFERENTIAL COMMUNICATION
136
1 External Success in Referential Communication
138
12 Agents Relating to Practices of ObjectPretence
146
2 Entertaining the Right Modes of Presentation in Referential Communication
152
21 Evans and Recanatis Success Conditions
154
22 An ActionBased Success Condition
158
3 Summary
163
References
165
Index
169
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