Department of Philosophy
Guest lecture

Arif Ahmed: Wittgenstein's Index Theory

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I propose and explore a way of thinking about reference that is suggested by Philosophical Investigations s. 37. According to this 'index theory of reference', saying that 'A' refers to B is just one of possibly many ways to sum up, or at least to sketch, an irreducible multiplicity of facts about how 'A' is used. After explaining the basic idea I'll try to use it to cast light on at least some of: (a) rule-following, (b) descriptive versus causal theories of reference, (c) reference magnetism (d) the private language argument.