Publication details [#9215]

Strawson, Peter F. 1964. Identifying reference and truth-values. Theoria 30 : 96–118.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


A revision of the truth-value gap theory about cases of radical reference failure, which holds that whenever the thing or person referred to by means of an identifying reference (such as 'the King of France') does not exist, the sentence in which the referring expression is used has no truth value at all. S. claims that the theory holds for some cases but not for others. E.g. reference failure with respect to 'the King of France' in a description of what the King of France is like is a case relatively favorable to the theory; but reference failure with respect to 'the local swimming-pool' in a description of how Jones spent the morning is unfavorable to the truth-value gap theory because the sentence 'Jones spent the morning at the local swimming-pool' is false rather than truth-valueless if there is no local swimming-pool.