Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Reference, philosophy: reference means a) the relation between an expression and one or more objects, thus the reference or b) the object (reference object) itself. Terminological confusion arises easily because the author, to whom this term ultimately goes back - G. Frege - spoke of meaning (in the sense of "pointing at something"). Reference is therefore often referred to as Fregean meaning in contrast to the Fregean sense, which describes what we call meaning today. See also meaning, sense, intension, extension.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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Books on Amazon
I 100
Sunburn/mental state/Davidson: Although sunburn is identified by reference to something outside the skin, it is nevertheless on the skin - as well as mental states are in the head (though not the meanings), although they are identified by reference to something outside - state of mind: does not go beyond the person - mental state: not identical with physical state.
I 102
Perhaps there is no physical difference between high-sunburn and sunburn - but difference, because the causation is different.
- - -
I 65ff
As long as we keep to the basic insight that words and thoughts in the simplest cases refer to the relationship by which they are effected, it is evident that the majority of our simplest views on the world are false.
The reason is that we do not first form concepts and then figure out to what they apply to.
Putnam: microstructure provides similarity for determining the reference (DavidsonVs)
Davidson: causal connections generally relevant for language and reference.
E.g. If the difference between a short-beaked echida and a porcupine is unknown to me, it might be that I describe all the short-beaked echidnas which cross my path as a porcupine. But since I have learned the word "porcupine" in a certain environment, my word "porcupine" does not refer to short-beaked echidnas, but to porcupines.
Rorty VI 123 ff
Rorty: no prospect to explain the reference directly in non-linguistical terminology (independent from sentences). There is certainly a very definite relationship between the word "Kilimanjaro" and a certain speaker, but we are unable to say the least about it if we do not know very well the role of this word in sentences.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

D. Davidson
Der Mythos des Subjektiven Stuttgart 1993

D. Davidson
Handlung und Ereignis Frankfurt 1990

D. Davidson
Wahrheit und Interpretation Frankfurt 1990

Ro I
R. Rorty
Der Spiegel der Natur Frankfurt 1997

R. Rorty
Philosophie & die Zukunft Frankfurt 2000

R. Rorty
Kontingenz, Ironie und Solidarität Frankfurt 1992

R. Rorty
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum Stuttgart 1993

Ro V
R. Rorty
Solidarität oder Objektivität? Stuttgart 1998

R. Rorty
Wahrheit und Fortschritt Frankfurt 2000

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-11-19