LINGUIST List 33.307

Wed Jan 26 2022

Books: Naming and Indexicality: Bochner

Editor for this issue: Billy Dickson <>

Date: 25-Jan-2022
From: Eleanor Hennerley <>
Subject: Naming and Indexicality: Bochner
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Title: Naming and Indexicality
Published: 2021
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: Gregory Bochner
Hardback: ISBN: 9781108428453 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 110.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9781108428453 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 85.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9781108428453 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 99.20

How do words stand for things? Taking ideas from philosophical semantics and pragmatics, this book offers a unique, detailed, and critical survey of central debates concerning linguistic reference in the twentieth century. It then uses the survey to identify and argue for a novel version of current 'two-dimensional' theories of meaning, which generalise the context-dependency of indexical expressions. The survey highlights the history of tensions between semantic and epistemic constraints on plausible theories of word meaning, from analytic philosophy and modern truth-conditional semantics, to the Referentialist and Externalist revolutions in theories of meaning, to the more recent reconciliatory ambition of two-dimensionalists. It clearly introduces technical semantical notions, theses, and arguments, with easy-to-follow, step-by-step guides. Wide-ranging in its scope, yet offering an accessible route into literature that can seem complex and technical, this will be essential reading for advanced students, and academic researchers in semantics, pragmatics, and philosophy of language.

Introduction; 1. Descriptivism; 2. The Referentialist Revolution; 3. Three Puzzles Arising from the Rigidity Thesis; 4. Varieties of Descriptivist Responses; 5. Two-Dimensionalism; Conclusion.

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 26-Jan-2022