Volume 14, 1988/1989
David B. Boersema
Is the Descriptivist / Cluster Theory of Reference “Wrong from the Fundamentals”?
In this paper I suggest that Searle’s theory of reference is immune to the specific criticisms that have been levelled against it. I first present an overview of Searle’s “cluster” theory, followed by an overview of the Kripkean critique. I then examine in detail Kripke’s objections and suggest that they are not sufficient for a rejection of Searle’s theory. Finally, I consider several general objections to the cluster theory and argue that they, too, do not suffice to reject it.