© 1998

The New Theory of Reference

Kripke, Marcus, and Its Origins

  • Paul W. Humphreys
  • James H. Fetzer

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 270)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. The Apa Exchange

  3. Replies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 63-63
    2. Scott Soames
      Pages 65-87
    3. John P. Burgess
      Pages 89-124
  4. Historical Origins

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 179-179
    2. Dagfinn Føllesdal
      Pages 181-202
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 285-290

About this book


On January 20th, 22nd, and 29th, 1970 Saul Kripke delivered three lectures at Princeton University. They produced something of a sensation. In the lectures he argued, amongst other things, that many names in ordinary language referred to objects directly rather than by means of associated descriptions; that causal chains from language user to language user were an important mechanism for preserving reference; that there were necessary a posteriori and contingent a priori truths; that identity relations between rigid designators were necessary; and argued, more tentatively, that materialist identity theories in the philosophy of mind were suspect. Interspersed with this was a consider­ able amount of material on natural kind terms and essentialism. As a result of these lectures and a related 1971 paper, 'Identity and Necessity' (Kripke [1971]), talk of rigid designators, Hesperus and Phosphorus, meter bars, gold and H 0, and suchlike quickly became commonplace in philosophical circles 2 and when the lectures were published under the title Naming and Necessity in the collection The Semantics of Natural Language (Davidson and Harman l [1972]), that volume became the biggest seller in the Reidel (later Kluwer) list. The cluster of theses surrounding the idea that a relation of direct reference 2 exists between names and their referents is now frequently referred to as 'The 3 New Theory of Reference'.


Enzo Paci design history history of literature history of philosophy modal logic semantic semantics subject will

Editors and affiliations

  • Paul W. Humphreys
    • 1
  • James H. Fetzer
    • 2
  1. 1.University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.University of MinnesotaDuluthUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The New Theory of Reference
  • Book Subtitle Kripke, Marcus, and Its Origins
  • Editors P. Humphreys
    J.H. Fetzer
  • Series Title Synthese Library
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-7923-4898-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-0-7923-5578-6
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-011-5250-1
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 290
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Philosophy of Language
  • Buy this book on publisher's site