reference
The basic case of reference is the relation between a name and the person or object which it names. The philosophical problems include trying to elucidate that relation, to understand whether other semantic relations, such as that between a predicate and the property it expresses, or that between a description and what it describes, or that between myself and the word ‘I’, are examples of the same relation or of very different ones. A great deal of modern work on this was stimulated by Kripke's Naming and Necessity (1970). It would also be desirable to know whether we can refer to such things as abstract objects and how to conduct the debate about such an issue. A popular approach, following Frege, is to argue that the fundamental unit of analysis should be the whole sentence. The reference of a term becomes a derivative notion: it is whatever it is that defines the term's contribution to the truth condition of the whole sentence. But there need be nothing further to say about it, given that we have a way of understanding the attribution of meanings or truth-conditions to sentences. Other approaches search for a more substantive, possibly causal or psychologically or socially constituted, relationship between words and things. See also definite descriptions, denotation, logically proper names.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • référence — [ referɑ̃s ] n. f. • v. 1820; angl. reference, même o. que référer I ♦ 1 ♦ Action ou moyen de se référer, de situer par rapport à. Indemnité fixée par référence au traitement. Géom. Système de référence : système d axes et de points par rapport… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • reference — ref‧er‧ence [ˈrefrəns] noun [countable] 1. with reference to formal used to say what you are writing or talking about, especially in business letters: • With reference to your recent advertisement, I am writing to apply for the post of sales… …   Financial and business terms

  • Reference — Référence Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • reference — ref·er·ence / re frəns, fə rəns/ n 1: an act of referring; specif: mention or citation of one document (as a statute) in another a municipality may adopt by reference all or a part of this title Alaska Statutes see also incorporate 2 …   Law dictionary

  • Reference — Ref er*ence (r?f ?r ens), n. [See {Refer}.] 1. The act of referring, or the state of being referred; as, reference to a chart for guidance. [1913 Webster] 2. That which refers to something; a specific direction of the attention; as, a reference… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • reference — [ref′ə rəns, ref′rəns] n. 1. a referring or being referred; esp., submission of a problem, dispute, etc. to a person, committee, or authority for settlement 2. relation; connection; regard [in reference to his letter] 3. a) the directing of… …   English World dictionary

  • reference — ► NOUN 1) the action of referring to something. 2) a mention or citation of a source of information in a book or article. 3) a letter from a previous employer testifying to someone s ability or reliability, used when applying for a new job. ►… …   English terms dictionary

  • reference — see IDEA OF REFERENCE ref·er·ence ref (ə )rən(t)s adj of known potency and used as a standard in the biological assay of a sample of the same drug of unknown strength <a dose of reference cod liver oil> …   Medical dictionary

  • reference — [n1] remark, citation advertence, allusion, associating, attributing, bringing up, connecting, hint, implication, indicating, innuendo, insinuation, mention, mentioning, note, plug*, pointing out, quotation, relating, resource, source, stating;… …   New thesaurus

  • reference — testimonial, recommendation, character, *credential …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Reference — For help in citing references, see Wikipedia:Citing sources. For the Wikipedia Reference Desk, see Wikipedia:Reference desk. Reference is derived from Middle English referren, from Middle French rèférer, from Latin referre, to carry back , formed …   Wikipedia

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