The edenic theory of reference

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Abstract
I argue for a theory of the optimal function of the speech act of referring, called the edenic theory. First, the act of singular reference is defined directly in terms of Gricean communicative intentions. Second, I propose a doxastic constraint on the optimal performance of such acts, stating, roughly, that the speaker must not have any relevant false beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the intended object. In uttering a singular term on an occasion, on this theory, one represents oneself as not having any confused beliefs about the object to which one intends to refer. This paves the way for an intentionalist theory of reference that circumvents well-known problems, which have not been adequately addressed before in the literature.
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2019
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First archival date: 2018-02-07
Latest version: 3 (2020-04-15)
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2018-02-07

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