Single Idea 21650

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

Full Idea

For Paul Pietroski no expression in natural language is semantically referential. ....Reference to objects occurs not at the level of semantics, but at the level of thought or utterance.

Gist of Idea

No language is semantically referential; it all occurs at the level of thought or utterance


report of Paul M. Pietroski (Events and Semantic Architecture [2004]) by Thomas Hofweber - Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics 07.2

Book Reference

Hofweber,Thomas: 'Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics' [OUP 2018], p.187

A Reaction

Love this. It has always struck me that reference is what speakers do. Try taking any supposedly referential description and sticking 'so-called' in front of it. That seems to leave you with the reference even though you have denied the description.

Related Ideas

Idea 21653 Maybe not even names are referential, but are just by used by speakers to refer [Hofweber]

Idea 21654 The "Fido"-Fido theory of meaning says every expression in a language has a referent [Hofweber]