Single Idea 2562

[catalogued under 19. Language / B. Reference / 1. Reference theories]

Full Idea

The need to pick out objects without the help of definitions, essences, and meanings of terms produced, philosophers thought, a need for a "theory of reference".

Gist of Idea

A theory of reference seems needed to pick out objects without ghostly inner states


Richard Rorty (Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature [1980], 6.3)

Book Reference

Rorty,Richard: 'Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature' [Blackwell 1980], p.274

A Reaction

Frege's was very perceptive in noting that meaning and reference are not the same. Whether we need a 'theory' of reference is unclear. It is worth describing how it occurs.