Success in Referential Communication

  • Matthias Paul

Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 80)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Matthias Paul
    Pages 1-30
  3. Matthias Paul
    Pages 31-48
  4. Matthias Paul
    Pages 68-88
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 165-176

About this book


One of the most basic themes in the philosophy of language is referential uptake, viz., the question of what counts as properly `understanding' a referring act in communication. In this inquiry, the particular line pursued goes back to Strawson's work on re-identification, but the immediate influence is that of Gareth Evans. It is argued that traditional and recent proposals fail to account for success in referential communication. A novel account is developed, resembling Evans' account in combining an external success condition with a Fregean one. But, in contrast to Evans, greater emphasis is placed on the action-enabling side of communication. Further topics discussed include the role of mental states in accounting for communication, the impact of re-identification on the understanding of referring acts, and Donnellan's referential/attributive distinction.
Readership: Philosophers, cognitive scientists and semanticists.


communication knowledge language philosophy philosophy of language semantic

Authors and affiliations

  • Matthias Paul
    • 1
  1. 1.Westfälische Wilhelms-UniversitätMünsterGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1999
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-5322-0
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-3181-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site