more from Alan Sidelle

Single Idea 15166

[catalogued under 19. Language / B. Reference / 3. Direct Reference / b. Causal reference]

Full Idea

The causal theory of reference appears to give us a way to get at an object while leaving it undetermined what its essence or necessary features might be.

Gist of Idea

Causal reference seems to get directly at the object, thus leaving its nature open


Alan Sidelle (Necessity, Essence and Individuation [1989], Ch.1)

Book Reference

Sidelle,Alan: 'Necessity, Essence and Individuation' [Cornell 1989], p.11

A Reaction

This pinpoints why the direct/causal theory of reference seems to open the doors to scientific essentialism. Sidelle, of course, opposes the whole programme.