1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Reference

Edited By Stephen Biggs, Heimir Geirsson Copyright 2021
    600 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    600 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This Handbook offers students and more advanced readers a valuable resource for understanding linguistic reference; the relation between an expression (word, phrase, sentence) and what that expression is about. The volume’s forty-one original chapters, written by many of today’s leading philosophers of language, are organized into ten parts:

    I Early Descriptive Theories
    II Causal Theories of Reference
    III Causal Theories and Cognitive Significance
    IV Alternate Theories
    V Two-Dimensional Semantics
    VI Natural Kind Terms and Rigidity
    VII The Empty Case
    VIII Singular (De Re) Thoughts
    IX Indexicals
    X Epistemology of Reference 

    Contributions consider what kinds of expressions actually refer (names, general terms, indexicals, empty terms, sentences), what referring expressions refer to, what makes an expression refer to whatever it does, connections between meaning and reference, and how we know facts about reference. Many contributions also develop connections between linguistic reference and issues in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science.

    Introduction  Part I: Early Descriptive Theories  1. The Concept of Linguistic Reference Before Frege  2. Frege on Reference  3. Fregean Descriptivism  4. The Referential-Attributive Distinction  Part II: Causal Theories of Reference  5. The Case(s) Against Descriptivism  6. Fruits of the Causal Theory of Reference  7. The Problem of Reference Change  Part III: Causal Theories and Cognitive Significance  8. Cognitive Significance  9. Conversational Implicature in Belief Reports  10. Context Sensitivity and 'Believes'  11. A Return to Simple Sentences  12. Eliciting and Conveying Information  Part IV: Alternate Theories  13. Causal Descriptivism  14. Reference Fixing and Presuppositions  15. Names as Predicates  16. Variabilism  Part V: Two-Dimensional Semantics  17. Two-Dimensional Semantics  18. Two-Dimensional Semantics and Identity Statements  19. Two-Dimensionalism and the Foundation of Linguistic Analysis  20. A Puzzle about Assertion  Part V: Natural Kind Terms and Rigidity  21. Rigidity of General Terms  22. The Psychology of Natural Kind Terms  23. Pervasive Externalism  24. Theoretical Identities as Necessary and A Priori  25. The Need for Descriptivism  26. The Accommodation Theory of Reference  27. Science, the Vernecular and the ‘Qua’ Problem  Part VII: The Empty Case  28. Mill and the Missing Referents  29. Fregean Theories of Names from Fiction  Part VIII: Singular (De Re) Thoughts  30. Reference and Singular Thought  31. Singular Thoughts, Sentences and Propositions of That Which Does Not Exist  32. Names and Singular Thought  Part IX: Indexicals  33. How Demonstratives and Indexicals Really Work  34. Demonstrative Reference to the Unreal: The Case of Hallucinations  35. What is Special about De Se Attitudes?  36. De Se Attitudes and Actions  37. Acting Without Me: Corporate Agency and the First Person Perspective  38. Semantic Monsters  Part X: Epistemology of Reference  39. Cross-Cultural Semantics at 15  40. Reference and Intuitions  41. The Myth of Quick and Easy Intuitions


    Stephen Biggs is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Iowa State University. He researches and teaches in philosophy of mind and language, epistemology, and cognitive science.

    Heimir Geirsson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Iowa State University. He works primarily in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, and metaethics, and is the author of Philosophy of Language and Webs of Information (2013).