Single Idea 7615

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

Full Idea

In Field's view reference is a 'physicalistic relation', i.e. a complex causal relation between words or mental representations and objects or sets of objects; it is up to physical science to discover what that physicalistic relation is.

Gist of Idea

Field says reference is a causal physical relation between mental states and objects


report of Hartry Field (Tarski's Theory of Truth [1972]) by Hilary Putnam - Reason, Truth and History Ch.2

Book Reference

Putnam,Hilary: 'Reason, Truth and History' [CUP 1998], p.45

A Reaction

I wouldn't hold your breath while the scientists do their job. If physicalism is right then Field is right, but physics seems no more appropriate for giving a theory of reference than it does for giving a theory of music.