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.


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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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Geach I 94
Reference/Geach: thesis: the reference of an expression in a sentence must always somehow to be specified independently of the truth value!
For example, if a question is answered with "yes" or "no", the reference of the expressions in the question must be somehow specifiable, regardless of what the correct answer is. (s) Without first knowing whether "yes" or "no". Third.
Geach: a modified paralogism of Buridan: E.g.
In the question, "Is A a Donkey?" A should stand for you if the correct answer is "Yes" and for Brownie, the donkey on the village pasture, if the correct answer is "No".
Consequence: if the correct answer is "yes", then you are a donkey when "no", then Brownie is not a donkey!
So: either you are a donkey, or Brownie is not a donkey.
But Brownie is a donkey, so: you're a donkey!
Buridan/Geach: the reference of "A" must be fixed before the question is expressed! Regardless of whether the sentence containing "A" is true or false. Reference must be independent of the truth value.

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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.

Gea I
P.T. Geach
Logic Matters Oxford 1972


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-06-25