What refers? How?

Barber, Alexander (2011). What refers? How? In: Turner, Ken ed. Making Semantics Pragmatic. Current Research in the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface (24). Bingley: Emerald, pp. 49–80.

URL: http://books.emeraldinsight.com/display.asp?K=9780...


“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” This National Rifle Association slogan has a popular analogue in the philosophy of language: words don’t refer to things, people refer to things. This paper looks at how the question of what refers (Words/concepts? People? Both? Neither?) intersects with the phenomenon of opacity. The discussion is used to motivate an important revision to standard intention-based accounts of speaker reference, one that takes due account of the fact that distinct words can have the same referent.

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