This volume investigates the precise contours of the connections between two foundational concepts: reference (the means of semantically expressing singular or object-dependent information) and structure (the having or lacking of meaningful sub-parts). Sullivan shows that the notion of structure, properly excavated, underlies and grounds various important points in the theory of reference. As such, this work builds on and further develops work by Bertrand Russell, Saul Kripke, David Kaplan, and Stephen Neale – principally, among many others.
Sullivan aims to clearly establish the intrinsic connections between structure and reference, which brings into focus informative and explanatory connections underlying otherwise disparate debates about various aspects of linguistic communication. The overall result is a simple, comprehensive lens that can help to clarify a wide range of semantic phenomena.
Part A: Framing the Project 1. Two distinctions within the category of designators 2. Further defining the central theses Part B: Rigid Designation, Proper Names, and Structure 3. Structure and rigidity 4. Structure and naming Part C: The prima facie counterexamples Interlude: Interim review and a look ahead 5. Referential uses of denoting expressions 6. Complex referring expressions Part D: Conclusions 7. Summary, Overview, and General Morals