Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Language and the Structure of Berkeley's World$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kenneth L. Pearce

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790334

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790334.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 November 2018

Reference and Quasi‐Reference

Reference and Quasi‐Reference

Chapter:
(p.86) 5 Reference and Quasi‐Reference
Source:
Language and the Structure of Berkeley's World
Author(s):

Kenneth L. Pearce

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790334.003.0006

In De Motu, Berkeley distinguishes between two uses of language, which we may call ‘genuine reference’ and ‘quasi-reference.’ Genuine referring expressions, like ‘red,’ are used to label language-independent objects. Quasi-referring expressions function syntactically, and hence inferentially, just like genuine referring expressions but lack this labeling use. The central thesis of De Motu is that the theoretical terms of physics are quasi-referring expressions. The metaphysical conclusion Berkeley draws from this linguistic thesis is not that forces do not exist but rather that they depend for their existence and nature on our theorizing activity. Berkeley’s anti-realism in the philosophy of physics is thus ultimately grounded in his philosophy of language.

Keywords:   George Berkeley, De Motu, reference, philosophy of language, philosophy of physics, metaphysics, anti-realism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .