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The Reference Book$
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John Hawthorne and David Manley

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693672

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693672.001.0001

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Introduction: reference and singular thought

Introduction: reference and singular thought

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Introduction: reference and singular thought
Source:
The Reference Book
Author(s):

John Hawthorne

David Manley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693672.003.0001

The discovery of the twin categories of reference and singular thought is widely felt to be one of the landmark achievements of twentieth-century analytic philosophy. On the one hand there is the distinction between bona fide referential expressions of natural language and those that are about objects only in some looser sense. On the other hand there is a corresponding distinction between a thought that is loosely about an object, and one whose bond with an object is robust enough for it to count as genuinely ‘singular’ or ‘de re’. This chapter tries to shed light on these two ideas by focusing on semantic ideas connected with Russell’s category of logically proper names that have been widely brought to bear on their successors.

Keywords:   reference, object-dependence, singular term, singular thought, acquaintance, rigidity, logically proper names, David Kaplan, Saul Kripke, Bertrand Russell

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