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Theories of Reference and Linguistic Relativity

Organon F, 2018, vol. 25, No 4, pp. 539-563.
Language: English
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The challenge to traditional theories of reference posed by experimental philosophers puts the focus on the question of diversity, cultural and linguistic, on the one hand, and cognitive (on intuitions), on the other. This allows for a connection between the problem of reference and the language-thought relation debate, and the linguistic relativity hypothesis conceived as the idea that linguistic diversity causes a correlative cognitive diversity. It is argued that the Kripkean view on proper names and natural kind terms is probably universal and that this empirical fact has plausible consequences for the universality of certain forms of human thought, but that there are nontrivial differences in the details of the workings of these expressions in different languages and that those differences influence the ways of thinking of speakers about individuals and kinds.


language, linguistic diversity, linguistic relativity, names, reference, thought

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