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Reference without Referents
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Reference without Referents

R. M. Sainsbury


This book concerns the nature of reference, and the theory it develops is intermediate between direct reference theories and descriptivist theories. A guiding thought is that just as truth conditions (rather than truth values) can throw light on the meaning of sentences so can reference conditions (rather than referents) throw light on the meaning of referring expressions. A reference condition need not be a descriptive condition, and it need not be satisfied. The first of these points marks the divergence from descriptivist theories, and the second, from direct reference theories. This idea i ... More

Keywords: definite descriptions, demonstratives, empty names, fiction, Frege, pronouns, reference, Russell, semantics, truth conditions

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780199241804
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005 DOI:10.1093/0199241805.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

R. M. Sainsbury, author
Department of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin
Author Webpage