By Francois Recanati
This quantity places ahead a unique new conception of direct reference, mixing insights from either the Fregean and the Russellian traditions, and becoming the overall conception of language knowing utilized by these engaged on the pragmatics of common language
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Extra info for Direct Reference: From Language to Thought
Some philosophers might be tempted to argue that my analysis is worthless, precisely because it helps itself to the notion of meaning. The objection I have in mind runs as follows: Analysis aims at reducing the more problematic to the less problem atic. The notion of 'propositional content' is arguably more prob lematic than that of truth-conditions, and that of referentiality more problematic than that of rigidity; what makes the notions of proposi tional content or of referentiality more problematic is the fact that they are more 'intentional' - closer to the paradigmatically intentional notion of 'meaning' .
The neo Fregean theory as it stands captures only one of the two intuitions on which the distinction between referential and non-referential terms is based. The first intuition underlying the referentiaVnon-referential dis tinction concerns what counts as understanding an utterance in which a referring expression occurs. If t is a referential term, a hearer does not understand what is said by an utterance G(t) if she cannot identify the reference of t. To identify the reference, in the relevant sense, one must go beyond the descriptive content of the referring expression and equate the reference with a certain object about which one has independent information.
By contrast, when a term is referential, its reference is part of the pro position expressed by the utterance and must be identified for the latter to be understood. More on this in 2 . 5 . ) These two possibilities are displayed in table 1 . Table 1 Referential terms Non-referential terms Character Mode of presentation Mode of presentation Content Reference Mode of presentation Reference Reference (utterance) (world) Singular propositions and thoughts 31 Kaplan has devised an operator, DTHAT, which prevents the mode of presentation of the reference from going into the content, in such a way that the content of an expression within the scope of DTHAT can only be its reference.
Direct Reference: From Language to Thought by Francois Recanati