Download Direct Reference: From Language to Thought by Francois Recanati PDF

By Francois Recanati

This quantity places ahead a unique new concept of direct reference, mixing insights from either the Fregean and the Russellian traditions, and becoming the overall thought of language figuring out utilized by these engaged on the pragmatics of normal language

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Extra resources for Direct Reference: From Language to Thought

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From the mode of presen­ tation that constitutes the linguistic meaning of the expression. There are two sorts of mode of presentation to be distinguished, and once this distinction is made, the Fregean argument no longer 36 D e r e communication constitutes an obj ection to the second claim made by the neo­ Russellian. Thus, even if it was conceded to the Fregean that the proposition expressed cannot be a singular proposition, but must include a mode of presentation of the referen� e, still it could be maintained that the mode of presentation of the reference which constitutes the linguistic meaning of a referential term 'should not be considered part of the content of what is said but should rather be thought of as [a] contextual factor .

Certainly, the Fregean argument shows that the complete content of the attitudes must include a mode of presentation of the reference. It follows that the complete content of the attitudes cannot be a singular proposition. But who has ever denied that? It would be folly to do so. The only rational position, for someone who holds that the proposition expressed by an utterance in which a referential term occurs in a singular proposition, is to reject (i), the equation of the proposition expressed with the complete content of the attitudes.

4 1 6 -4 1 7). I cannot elaborate this point here. Stephen Schiffer (1977, p. 3 1 ) makes a similar point. He introduces an operator ' * ' that transforms a definite description into one that has maximal scope in every sentence in which it occurs, and notes that the proposition expressed by 'It might have been the case that the * Presi­ dent of the US in 1 976 was a lapsed Quaker' is true in a possible world if and only if whoever in that world is President of the US in 1 9 76 is such that he or she might have been a lapsed Quaker.

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