more from Mark Sainsbury

Single Idea 10434

[catalogued under 19. Language / B. Reference / 5. Speaker's Reference]

Full Idea

A large range of expressions can be used with referential intentions, including quantifier phrases (as in 'someone has once again failed to close the door properly').

Gist of Idea

Even a quantifier like 'someone' can be used referentially


Mark Sainsbury (The Essence of Reference [2006], 18.5)

Book Reference

'The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language', ed/tr. Lepore,E/Smith,B [OUP 2008], p.413

A Reaction

This is the pragmatic aspect of reference, where it can be achieved by all sorts of means. But are quantifiers inherently referential in their semantic function? Some of each, it seems.