Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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.
Author Item Excerpt Meta data
Allen, C.
Books on Amazon
Reference Perler/Wild I 334
Reference/Language/Allen: Thesis: Reference is older than other peculiarities of language.

Colin Allen und Eric Saidel Die Evolution der Referenz in D. Perler/M. Wild (Hg.) Der Geist der Tiere, Frankfurt 2005

Perler I 334
Reference/Language/Allen: Thesis: Reference is older than other language peculiarities.
I 336
Reference/Animal/Language/Allen/Saidel: the representatives of the separation of humans and animals want to show that the alleged reference of animal signals are evaluated by criteria which are not applicable to the referential use of the human language.
And precisely a criterion that even the homo javaniensis would fulfill: but that again is not fulfilled by modern human languages: stimulus specificity!
N.B.: animal reference is to be confirmed by presence of the speaker, while for the human reference the absence is characteristic!
I 337
I 338
If an implicit definition is necessary in language learning, does ontogenesis then repeat phylogenesis? Do animals have a block world language (Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, PU)? And would that be a first step in the development of human language?
I 339
Animal/Species/Reference/Allen/Saidel: E.g. Seyfarth, warning calls from long-tailed monkeys offspring must be confirmed (repeated) by adults so that they are taken seriously by others.
I 341
Reference/Language/Animal/Allen/Saidel: to what extent can the reference be extended to absent objects?
Three types:
1. mimetical reference: the signal looks very similar to the referent. Dawkins/cancer: essential part in animals:
I 342
Try to use the muscle strength of others for your own goals.
I 343
2. Substitutive reference: Signals act as substitutes for their referents. They trigger the same reaction as this, but with a different cognitive mechanism. Numerous in birds and mammals. Reference to absent things.
I 344
This also works even if it is limited to a block world language.
3. Conceptual reference: occurs when signals can refer to external conditions without normally triggering reactions that the referents themselves would trigger. E.g. the description of a beautiful sunset is not informative, but presents the speaker as a romantic.
I 345
Substitutive and conceptual reference require the ability to make an arbitrary connection. It is often not ecologically advisable to wire such a connection firmly.
I 345
Reference/Allen/Saidel: Thesis: Reference to behavior is both phylogenetic and ontogenetically more fundamental than reference to objects.
I 346
Movements are already observed by small children more attentively than static things.
I 347
E.g. long-tailed monkey: here is a warning call "grunting of an animal, which goes on open terrain". It would be a mystery if this were limited to objects. There is no single object presented with it.
I 348
E.g. long-tailed monkeys: Mistakes in warning calls typically occur when harmless birds are quickly rushing down from the sky. So move before object.

Tie I
D. Perler/M. Wild (Hg)
Der Geist der Tiere Frankfurt 2005

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-04-23