The Accommodation Theory of Reference
DOI link for The Accommodation Theory of Reference
The Accommodation Theory of Reference book
Theories of reference are important in lots of disciplines. In philosophy they’re important in discussions of, e.g., mental representation, modal logic, analytic metaphysics, philosophical theology, and metaethics. Realists maintain, against logical empiricists, that knowledge of unobservable ‘theoretical’ entities is possible. A key point of all realist causal theories of reference has been to underwrite that idea by explaining how scientific terms can sometimes continue to refer univocally even in the face of changes in concepts, ‘operational definitions’, framework principles, etc. Accommodationism is designed to fulfill those requirements. The accommodationist conception for human languages treats natural kinds and their naturalness as features of humans’ communicative and inferential practices. The term ‘reference fixing’ is misleading: reference is really a dialectical process. Partial denotation and related phenomena are commonplace in the sciences and other intellectual disciplines.