An Analysis of Referential Theory in the Philosophy of Language

  • Wu Baoqin, M uhammad Afzaal ,Hind Al Fadda ,Swaleha Akhtar


This study focuses on the referential theory, and highlights the meaning of an expression. Reference theory is a key problem in logic philosophy in addition to comprising an important part of Strawson and Russell’s theory. In this study, the debates of Strawson and Russell have been analyzed with logical arguments.  While Russell contends that sense is reference, Strawson distinguishes words, sentences, and their usage from the perspective of pragmatics. Proposing that meaning is the characteristic of words or sentence, Strawson also ventures that while truth and falsehood are characteristics of sentence use, reference is a feature of word use. Strawson’s basic theorizations in language philosophy lay the foundation for a critique of Russell’s description theory which exerted a strong influence on contemporary language philosophy and analytic philosophy. Strawson’s critique of Russell’s theory is indicative not just of the development of reference theory research but also of the revival of ontological research in contemporary philosophy.