“Most of this book is a defense and elaboration of a galaxy of theses that, so far as we can tell, no one but us believes.” This is the provocative first sentence of Jerry Fodor and Zenon Pylyshyn's most recent book. The central star in this galaxy is that “reference is the only semantic property of mental or linguistic representations” (1). Fodor and Pylyshyn allow that there is also, for example, truth and falsity; but, in their view, reference is the fundamental semantic property— there are no senses determining referents, no intensions determining extensions. There are meanings only in an ordinary, everyday sense. There are no meanings (that is, senses or intensions) that do the most important of the work assigned them in a Fregean theory of reference.

The authors are, perhaps, exaggerating the heretical status of their theses. The central anti-Fregean thesis, at...

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