|Reference, in philosophy: relation of a linguistic expression or action to a real object. Reference presupposes the existence of this object. An expression, which corresponds to no object, has no reference, however, may have a meaning. See also unicorn, Pegasus.|
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Frege: first reference, then "sense".
Trend today: for singular terms: Meaning = Reference - DummettVs: absurd in complex terms (descriptions).
Reference: words - not sentences or parts of sentences (Dummett: feeling for the language).
Def reference of an expression: is that which is common to all other expressions where it is clear that their substitution instead of the original expression does not affect the truth value of any sentence in which it occurs.
Frege: theory of reference prevails over theory of "sense". - "Sense" determines the reference - Husserl: Reference = "sense".
Use gives meaning - sense gives reference (Frege) - meaning not equivalent to reference: e.g. unicorn
RussellVs distinction sense/reference (meaning/reference) (RussellVsFrege).
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EMD II 128
Reference/Frege/Dummett: does not show everything that the speaker knows when he understands an expression > sense - knowledge of reference is not sufficient for meaning. E.g. identity a = a is uninformative - Dummett: the same goes for every atomic sentence.
Ursprünge der analytischen Philosophie Frankfurt 1992
Wahrheit Stuttgart 1982
G. Evans/J. McDowell
Truth and Meaning Oxford 1977
The Varieties of Reference (Clarendon Paperbacks) Oxford 1989