The Roots of Reference

The Roots of Reference

The Roots of Reference

The Roots of Reference

Excerpt

The title of Professor Quine's best-known philosophy book is Word and Object. From the title of these lectures, I gather he is going to discuss an important relation of words to objects--or better--of words to other objects, some of which are not words--or even better, of objects some of which are words to objects some of which are not words.

I am sure that in every case the exact degree of opacity of reference will be made entirely transparent, even though the roots of reference must be an even dirtier subject than reference itself, which as we all know is dirty enough.

In Professor Quine's many encounters with reference he has always insisted on such sterling principles as: "Don't refer to what isn't"; "Don't suppose that merely by talking you are saying anything about anything"; but on the other hand, "If you do . . .

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