On Feb 18, 2:03 pm, "Stephen Paul King" <stephe...@charter.net> wrote:
> Hi,
> -----Original Message-----
> From: 1Z
> Sent: Friday, February 18, 2011 7:04 AM
> To: Everything List
> Subject: Re: Maudlin & How many times does COMP have to be false before its
> false?
> >>On Feb 17, 8:52 pm, benjayk <benjamin.jaku...@googlemail.com> wrote:
> snip
> >> Probably I should just say that every word has a referent.
> [1Z]
> >Clearly  not, e.g unicorn.
> [SPK]
>     I invite you to read a good book on Semiotic Theory, such as that of
> Umberto Ecco. The point is that even the word "unicorn" has a referent, even
> if that referent is some imagination. Is a cartoon drawing of a horse with a
> single horn protruding from its head not recognized as a unicorn?

It's a picture of unicorn. Which is to say, it is an individual of
the type <picture>. It cannot be said that unicorns exist because
pictures of them do.

 If we are
> going to literally and seriously argue that only nouns can refer to actual
> physical entities,

That isn't the argument at all. The argument is that what a word's
reference, if it has one, is indicated by it's sense.


Words like
"thought", "memory" have mental referents because their
senses make it clear they are meant to refer  to mental entities.
"Unicorn" has the sense of a kind of four legged animal:
if  no such animal can be found, it can't be taken
to refer to something else (such as picture or concept)
because that would break the sense-reference link

> then we are disallowing for any conversations regarding
> the dearly departed or anything that is out of sensory range of the
> conversants (among many more).

You seem to be assuming that reference exhausts meaning. But
about fictive, hypothetical or defunct entities are still meaningful
the terms involved have Sense.

>     Referents do not need to be autonomously instantiated as physical beings
> to be referents. Following the same reasoning numbers do not need to exist
> as autonomous entities either, all that is really required is that
> interlocutors can comprehend each other's implied meanings.

All that is required for what? That mathematicians understand each
other is not a sufficient condition for Platonism

>  We seem to be
> having another instance of the debate between nominalism and universalism...
>     Parenthetically, what does this have to do with the subject of Maudlin
> and COMP's veracity?


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