|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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Reference/Bigelow/Pargetter: we simply assume it to be given.
Question: what are the referents of the words? And the scientific symbols?
Reference/Tarski/Bigelow/Pargetter: Tarski already had the tendency to admit as few referents as possible for our words.
Bigelow/Pargetter: can we be even more restrictive? Yes, we can avoid referents for predicates, open sentences through more comprehensive composition rules. (extreme variant: Lit. Bigelow/Pargetter 1981).
Vs: but we do not gain much through this. In extreme cases, you would have a semantics without referents who would not oblige you to believe in anything. But one would have very complicated rules._____________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.
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990