2.1.2 Sense and Reference
For each of the following, determine if it has sense but not reference, both sense and reference, reference but not sense, or neither.
- “the present King of France”
- “The it green where”
- “the cure for AIDS”
- “Abraham Lincoln”
- “Abrahamic religions”
- “the tenth planet in the solar system”
Are the quotation marks necessary? Why?
- “Martian” SENSE BUT NOT REFERENCE
- “the present King of France” SENSE BUT NOT REFERENCE
- “Obama” REFERENCE BUT NOT SENSE
- “The it green where” NEITHER
- “the cure for AIDS” SENSE BUT NOT REFERENCE
- “Abraham Lincoln” REFERENCE BUT NOT SENSE
- “Abrahamic religions” BOTH
- “glory” BOTH
- “the tenth planet in the solar system” SENSE BUT NOT REFERENCE
Yes, the quotation marks are necessary, because sense and reference are features that only words and phrases can have. Things like apples, tables, people, and shoes are not linguistic in nature –they are not elements of language—so they can’t have sense or reference. To not use quotation marks would be to ask if apples themselves, rather than the word, had sense or reference.