Department of Philosophy  via Balbi 4, via Bensa 1 - Genova tel. 209.9713; fax. 2099864
PhD Lectures in Philosophy 2006

Genoa September 19-26, 2006
Language and Direct Reference
Genoveva Martí
(University of Barcelona)

In September 2006 we will have our PhD Lectures with teachers of the University of Barcelona, with which we have a doctoral agreement for teachers and students exchange, since the Erasmus Exchange program in 1999. Like other international lectures (as the ones held by Robert Brandom, Manuel Garcia Carpintero,  John Perry and others), these lectures are free and open to visitors. However we need to know how many people will attend the lectures and we need a request of participation. Most of the readings suggested are available at the Library of the Department of Philosophy. If you have to look for some accomodation, you can visit the site

Please send a request of participation to:
dr. Massimiliano Vignolo ( +39-010-20951982

    Monday, September 18th   afternoon 15-18: 1st lecture
    Tuesday, September 19th  morning 11-13:  2nd lecture
                                                     afternoon 15-18:  3rd lecture
    Wednesday, September 20th Individual Meetings
    Monday, September 25th   afternoon 15-18:  4th lecture
    Tuesday, September 26th  morning 11-13:  5th lecture
                                                     afternoon 15-18:  6th lecture (with general discussion)

(The schedule might change depending of the needs of the participants)

Outline of the course

The main purpose of the course is to examine the notion of direct reference, comparing it with a traditional conception of the relation of referring, inspired by Frege, and to try and determine the characterization of the relation language-world that supports the idea of a genuinely direct reference relation.

1) Background
- Locke: Meanings as Ideas
- The Fregean Approach: Meanings as Senses
- The Russellian Approach: Meanings as Things

John Locke: Essay (selections)
Gottlob Frege: Begriffsschrift. Translated by Terence Bynum (selections)
Gottlob Frege: ŽOn Sense and ReferenceŪ (in various anthologies)
Bertrand Russell: selections from ŽThe Philosophy of Logical AtomismŪ (in Logic and Knowledge)
and ŽKnowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by DescriptionŪ (inMysticism and Knowledge)

2) The DR reaction
- Against Descriptivism: Names as Rigid Designators
- Indexicals and Demonstratives. Character and Content
- Proper Names. The Causal-Historical Picture
- Direct Reference and Neo-Fregeanism

Saul Kripke: Naming and Necessity (selections)
Keith Donnellan: žProper Names and Identifying DescriptionsÓ in Synthese, 1970 (also in Semantics of
Natural Language, Donald Davidson & Gilbert Harman (eds.))
John Perry: žFrege on DemonstrativesÓ in The Philosophical Review, 1977 (also in The Problem of the
Essential Indexical)

3) Weak and Strong Conceptions of Direct Reference
- Direct Reference and Truth-Conditions: Singular Propositions
- Unmediated Reference and the Causal-Historical Picture
- Names vs Indexicals/Demonstratives
- Direct Reference and Rigidity

David Kaplan: Introduction to žDemonstratives,Ó in Almog, Perry, Wettstein (eds.): Themes from
Genoveva Martí: žThe Essence of Genuine Reference.Ó in Journal of Philosophical Logic, 1995
Joseph Almog: žSemantic AnthropologyÓ in Midwest Studies in Philosophy. Volume on Causation and
Causal Theories

4) Direct Reference and Definite Descriptions
- The Distinction Referential/Attributive
- Demonstrative Uses as Referential Uses
- Descriptions and Genuinely Referential Devices

Keith Donnellan: žReference and Definite DescriptionsÓ in The Philosophical Review, 1966
David Kaplan: žDthatÓ P. Cole (ed.) in Syntax and Semantics
Howard Wettstein: žDemonstrative Reference and Definite Descriptions.Ó in Philosophical Studies,

5) Puzzles and Solutions
- Cognitive Significance
- Empty Names
- Substitutivity

Howard Wetstein: The Magic Prism (selections)
David Braun: žEmpty NamesÓ in Noûs, 1993

A 4,000-6,000 word paper on a topic approved by the instructor or a final take home exam with about
four essay questions.


Genoa September 19-26 2006

(*) [Erasmus / Canterbury Cathedral]