Direct Reference is a theory which explores the relationship between proper names, or *labels* and the objects to which they refer. According to John Stuart Mill, direct reference and proper names are "purely denotative....they denote the individuals who are called by them; but they do not indicate or imply any attributes as belonging to those individuals." Hence we may refer to a philosopher named Aristotle without having any factual information regarding the person denoted by this label.
Indexicality is the use of expressions that elicit change of meaning in a sentence given the context of the utterance, or *indexicals*. An example of indexicality is the sentence 'I am thirsty'. As the speaker changes, the definition of the utterance 'I am thirsty' changes as well.
Propositional Attitudes are problematic structures within the theory of Direct Reference. We may make the statement, 'Dr. Seuss wrote the "Cat in the Hat",' and interchange Theodor Geisel for Dr. Seuss without affecting the validity of the statement. However, when the propositional attitude 'John believes that' is applied to the statement, forming 'John believes that Dr. Seuss wrote the "Cat in the Hat"', the Substitution Principle does not produce a valid statement. The application of the propositional attitude does not allow the speaker to make assumptions about John's beliefs. Hence, the social understanding of the proper name, 'Dr. Seuss', is lost within the structure of the propositional attitude.
This volume is a compilation of revised versions of papers presented at a conference held in spring 1994 at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) in Bielefeld, Germany. These papers are extended discussions of topics of great importance to philosophers.