Single Idea 10516

[catalogued under 19. Language / B. Reference / 3. Direct Reference / b. Causal reference]

Full Idea

Dummett claims that a realistic conception of reference can be sustained for concrete objects (possible objects of ostension), but breaks down for (putative) names of (pure) abstract objects.

Gist of Idea

A realistic view of reference is possible for concrete objects, but not for abstract objects


report of Michael Dummett (Frege Philosophy of Language (2nd ed) [1973], Ch.14) by Bob Hale - Abstract Objects Ch.3.II

A Reaction

An extremely hard claim to evaluate, because a case must first be made for abstract objects which are fundamentally different in kind. Realistic reference must certainly deal with these hard cases. Field rejects Dummett's abstract points.