Single Idea 10430

[catalogued under 19. Language / B. Reference / 3. Direct Reference / c. Social reference]

Full Idea

Strawson's early work gave a new direction to the study of reference by stressing that it is a social phenomenon.

Gist of Idea

Reference is mainly a social phenomenon


report of Peter F. Strawson (On Referring [1950]) by Mark Sainsbury - The Essence of Reference 18.2

Book Reference

'Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language', ed/tr. Lepore,E/Smith,B [OUP 2008], p.402

A Reaction

The question is whether speakers refer, or sentences, or expressions, or propositions. The modern consensus seems to be that some parts of language are inherently referring, but speakers combine such tools with context. Sounds right.