Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Reference, philosophy: reference means a) the relation between an expression and one or more objects, thus the reference or b) the object (reference object) itself. Terminological confusion arises easily because the author, to whom this term ultimately goes back - G. Frege - spoke of meaning (in the sense of "pointing at something"). Reference is therefore often referred to as Fregean meaning in contrast to the Fregean sense, which describes what we call meaning today. See also meaning, sense, intension, extension.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Paul Ricoeur on Reference - Dictionary of Arguments

II 36
Reference/literature/fiction/discourse/as if/Ricoeur: My contention is that discourse cannot fail to be about something. In saying this, I am denying the ideology of absolute texts. Only a few sophisticated texts, along the line of Mallarmé's poetry, satisfy this ideal of a text
II 37
without reference.
Jakobson/Ricoeur: in one manner or another, poetic texts speak about the world. But not in a descriptive way. As Jakobson(1) himself suggests, the reference here is not abolished, but divided or split. The effacement of the ostensive and descriptive reference liberates a power of reference to aspects of our being in the world that cannot be said in a direct descriptive way, but only alluded to, thanks to the referential values of metaphoric and, in general, symbolic expressions.
II 36
In the construction of his schema of communication, Roman Jakobson relates the poetic function - which is to be understood in a broader sense than just poetry - to the emphasis of the message for its own sake at the expense of the reference.
II 37
World/universe/Ricoeur: We ought to enlarge our concept of the world, therefore, not only to allow for non-ostensive but still descriptive references, but also non-ostensive and non-descriptive references, those of poetic diction. The term "world" then has the meaning that we all understand when we say of a new born child that he has come into the world. For me, the world is the ensemble of references opened up by every kind of text, descriptive or poetic, that I have read, understood, and loved. And to understand a text is to interpolate among the predicates of our situation all the significations that make a Welt out of our Umwelt. It is this enlarging of our horizon of existence that permits us to speak of the references opened up by the text or of the world opened up by the referential claims of most texts. >Literature/Ricoeur
, >Literature/Jakobson.

1. R. Jakobson, „Linguistics and Poetics“. In: T. A. Sebeok (ed.), Style in Language (Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1960), pp. 350-377.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Ricoeur I
Paul Ricoeur
De L’interprétation. Essai sur Sigmund Freud
German Edition:
Die Interpretation. Ein Versuch über Freud Frankfurt/M. 1999

Ricoeur II
Paul Ricoeur
Interpretation theory: discourse and the surplus of meaning Fort Worth 1976

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2024-04-13
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