[MaFLa] invitation to a talk on ‘Reference Without Cognition’ by Genoveva Marti - 4 March, 5.30 PM

Krisztina Biber biberk at ceu.hu
Wed Feb 26 08:33:49 CET 2014

    The CEU Department of Philosophy cordially invites you to a talk 
 (as part of its Departmental Colloquium series)
 Genoveva Marti (ICREA and University of Barcelona) 
 ‘Reference Without Cognition’
 Tuesday, 4 March, 2014, 5.30 PM, Zrinyi 14, Room 412
 What makes a noise or a squiggle on a piece of paper a name of a thing?
There has been, as of recent, a move by some proponents of direct
reference theory (in some cases, even a pioneer proponent, such as David
Kaplan) towards an account of naming and name using that grounds the
reference of a use of a proper name in cognition. This is not a return
to a straightforward, classical form of descriptivism or internalism,
according to which conceptual material in the mind of the speaker fixes
the reference of a use of a name. Neo-cognition advocates, applying
something supposedly close to the spirit of Donnellan’s conception of
having in mind, defend that reference starts with an object which is, so
to speak, taken in by the mind, and it is the having in mind of an
object that makes a use of a name refer to it. I will argue that having
the referent in mind is neither necessary nor sufficient for a use of a
name to refer to it, much in the way that a backup of definite
descriptions was neither necessary nor sufficient for a use of a name to
reach its referent. I will stress the essentially externalistic nature
of the picture of reference that underlies direct reference theory, and
I will reflect on some of the conditions a mere mark must satisfy to be
a proper name.

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