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  1. Arif Ahmed (2007). Saul Kripke. Bloomsbury.
    Saul Kripke is one of the most important and original post-war analytic philosophers. His work has undeniably had a profound impact on the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. Yet his ideas are amongst the most challenging frequently encountered by students of philosophy. In this informative and accessible book, Arif Ahmed provides a clear and thorough account of Kripke's philosophy, his major works and ideas, providing an ideal guide to the important and complex thought of this key philosopher. (...)
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  2. Pierre Baumann (2010). Kripke's Critique of Descriptivism Revisited. Princípios 17 (27):167-201.
    This paper has two purposes: the first is to critically examine Kripke’s well-known arguments against Descriptivism and suggest that they are not as decisive as many have thought; the second is to argue that proper names do encode descriptive information of various kinds, that such information may be truth-conditionally significant, and hence that a name’s truth-conditional contribution is not limited to its referent.
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  3. James R. Beebe (2016). Individual and Cross-Cultural Differences in Semantic Intuitions: New Experimental Findings. Journal of Cognition and Culture 16:322-357.
    In 2004 Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich published what has become one of the most widely discussed papers in experimental philosophy, in which they reported that East Asian and Western participants had different intuitions about the semantic reference of proper names. A flurry of criticisms of their work has emerged, and although various replications have been performed, many critics remain unconvinced. We review the current debate over Machery et al.’s (2004) results and take note of which (...)
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  4. Simon Blackburn (2009). Analysis, Description, and the A Priori? In Ian Ravenscroft (ed.), Minds, Ethics, and Conditionals: Themes from the Philosophy of Frank Jackson. Oxford University Press 23.
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  5. Chen Bo (2012). A Descriptivist Refutation of Kripke's Modal Argument and of Soames's Defence. Theoria 78 (3):225-260.
    This article systematically challenges Kripke's modal argument and Soames's defence of this argument by arguing that, just like descriptions, names can take narrow or wide scopes over modalities, and that there is a big difference between the wide scope reading and the narrow scope reading of a modal sentence with a name. Its final conclusions are that all of Kripke's and Soames's arguments are untenable due to some fallacies or mistakes; names are not “rigid designators”; if there were rigid designators, (...)
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  6. David Braun (2003). Scott Soames. 2002. Beyond Rigidity: The Unfinished Semantic Agenda of Naming and Necessity. [REVIEW] Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (3):367-379.
  7. Ray Buchanan (2014). Names, Descriptions, and Assertion. In Zsu-Wei Hung (ed.), Communicative Action. Springer 03-15.
    According to Millian Descriptivism, while the semantic content of a linguistically simple proper name is just its referent, we often use sentences containing such expressions “to make assertions…that are, in part, descriptive” (Soames 2008). Against this view, I show, following Ted Sider and David Braun (2006), that simple sentences containing names are never used to assert descriptively enriched propositions. In addition, I offer a diagnosis as to where the argument for Millian Descriptivism goes wrong. Once we appreciate the distinctive way (...)
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  8. Alon Chasid (2004). Why the Pictorial Relation is Not Reference. British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (3):226-247.
    Nelson Goodman argued that the pictorial relation is reducible to reference. After explaining why previous attempts to refute this thesis of reduction have failed, I argue that in order to show that the thesis is indeed wrong we must find an aspect of pictures that is incompatible with it. I proceed to argue that there is indeed such an element to pictures. Ordinarily, a picture depicts its subject as having aesthetic properties. I show that the depiction of these properties requires (...)
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  9. Erhan Demircioglu (2014). Gareth Evans on Proper Names. Felsefe Tartismalari 50:1-9.
    The central aim of this paper is to argue against Evans’ hybrid theory of reference. I will show that Evans’ theory makes false predictions in the case of some thought-experiments. The paper has two sections. After providing a short presentation of Evans’ theory in the first section, I will move on to criticize it in the second section.
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  10. Louis deRosset (2010). Reference and Response. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99999 (1):1-18.
    A standard view of reference holds that a speaker's use of a name refers to a certain thing in virtue of the speaker's associating a condition with that use that singles the referent out. This view has been criticized by Saul Kripke as empirically inadequate. Recently, however, it has been argued that a version of the standard view, a _response-based theory of reference_, survives the charge of empirical inadequacy by allowing that associated conditions may be largely or even entirely implicit. (...)
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  11. Santiago Echeverri (2016). Object Files, Properties, and Perceptual Content. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):283-307.
    Object files are mental representations that enable perceptual systems to keep track of objects as numerically the same. How is their reference fixed? A prominent approach, championed by Zenon Pylyshyn and John Campbell, makes room for a non-satisfactional use of properties to fix reference. This maneuver has enabled them to reconcile a singularist view of reference with the intuition that properties must play a role in reference fixing. This paper examines Campbell’s influential defense of this strategy. After criticizing it, a (...)
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  12. Gareth Evans (1973). The Causal Theory of Names. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 47 (1):187–208.
  13. Anthony Everett (2005). Recent Defenses of Descriptivism. Mind and Language 20 (1):103–139.
    David Sosa, Michael Nelson, and Jason Stanley have recently offered a series of interesting and provocative challenges to Kripke's modal arguments against Descriptivism. In this paper I explore these challenges and some of the issues to which they give rise. I argue that, in the end, all three challenges fail.
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  14. R. W. Fischer (2008). Joseph LaPorte, Natural Kinds and Conceptual Change. Erkenntnis 69 (3):415-419.
  15. Manuel García-Carpintero (2000). Una nueva solución a la paradoja de Cartwright. Critica 32 (95):47 - 70.
    The paper offers a new solution to a paradox introduced by Richard Cartwright and discussed by Kaplan. The paradox is, in a nutshell, as follows. Suppose that we name with ‘(1)’ the statement ‘the last word of (1) is obscene’, and with ‘(2)’ the statement ‘the last word of (1) is obscene’. It seems that, although under these stipulations (1) = (2), (2) has a modal property which (1) lacks, to wit: it can be turned into a truth by quoting (...)
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  16. Manuel Garcia-Carpintero (2000). A Presuppositional Account of Reference Fixing. Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):109.
    This paper develops a “two-factor” view of the meaning of referential expressions, including proper names and indexicals, focusing on the latter. Consider an utterance of ‘he is hungry’. The proposal agrees with Direct Reference theorists that the asserted content is a singular proposition, x is hungry, for some contextual assignment to x. It is expressed, however, in a context in which another singular proposition is presupposed – in this case, one semantically triggered by something akin to a Kaplanian character for (...)
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  17. Manuel García-Carpintero (1995). Doubts About Fregean Reference. Philosophical Issues 6:104-112.
    Questions Sosa's views on Fregean referece.
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  18. Heimir Geirsson (2012). Philosophy of Language and Webs of Information. Routledge.
    Introduction and overview -- Reference -- Propositions: structure and objects -- Reporting attitudes -- Singular propositions and acquaintance -- Beliefs and belief reports -- Empty names -- Attitude contexts: beliefs and justification.
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  19. Heimir Geirsson (2001). Discovering Identity. Southwest Philosophy Review 17 (2):43-57.
    Driven by the intuition that the propositions expressed by a=a and a=b, where ‘a’ and ‘b’ are codesignative names, differ in cognitive value, philosophers constructing theories of beliefs and belief attributions have been attracted to elements from both Frege’s and Russell’s theories. This, I will argue, has had the consequence that some of the theories entail that it is a necessary condition for making the astronomical discovery that Hesperus is Phosphorus that we make a mental discovery about our representations of (...)
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  20. Stavroula Glezakos (2011). The Propositions We Assert. Acta Analytica 26 (2):165-173.
    According to Scott Soames, proper names have no descriptive meaning. Nonetheless, Soames maintains that proper names are typically used to make descriptive assertions. In this paper, I challenge Soames’ division between meaning and what is asserted, first by arguing that competent speakers always make descriptive assertions with name-containing sentences, and then by defending an account of proper name meaning that accommodates this fact.
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  21. Irwin Goldstein (1994). Identifying Mental States: A Celebrated Hypothesis Refuted. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):46-62.
    Functionalists think an event's causes and effects, its 'causal role', determines whether it is a mental state and, if so, which kind. Functionalists see this causal role principle as supporting their orthodox materialism, their commitment to the neuroscientist's ontology. I examine and refute the functionalist's causal principle and the orthodox materialism that attends that principle.
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  22. Aidan Gray (2016). Minimal Descriptivism. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):343-364.
    Call an account of names satisfactionalist if it holds that object o is the referent of name a in virtue of o’s satisfaction of a descriptive condition associated with a. Call an account of names minimally descriptivistif it holds that if a competent speaker finds ‘a=b’ to be informative, then she must associate some information with ‘a’ which she does not associate with ‘b’. The rejection of both positions is part of the Kripkean orthodoxy, and is also built into extant (...)
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  23. Aidan Gray (2014). Name-Bearing, Reference, and Circularity. Philosophical Studies 171 (2):207-231.
    Proponents of the predicate view of names explain the reference of an occurrence of a name N by invoking the property of bearing N. They avoid the charge that this view involves a vicious circularity by claiming that bearing N is not itself to be understood in terms of the reference of actual or possible occurrences of N. I argue that this approach is fundamentally mistaken. The phenomenon of ‘reference transfer’ shows that an individual can come to bear a name (...)
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  24. Karen Green (1998). Was Searle's Descriptivism Refuted? Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):109-13.
    It is generally thought that Searle 's cluster theory of the sense of a proper name was soundly refuted by Kripke in Naming and Necessity. This paper challenges this widespread belief and argues that the observations made by Kripke do not show that Searle 's version of descriptivism is false. Indeed, charitably interpreted, Searle 's theory retains considerable plausibility.
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  25. John Justice (2001). On Sense and Reflexivity. Journal of Philosophy 98 (7):351-364.
    "On Sense and Reflexivity" offers the answer to a crucial question that was posed, and left without a satisfactory answer, by Gottlob Frege in "On Sense and Reference" (1892): What is the sense of a proper name? The century-long failure to answer this question has been the main motivation and support for recent nondescriptional accounts of lexical singular terms.
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  26. Jesper Kallestrup (2012). Actually-Rigidified Descriptivism Revisited. Dialectica 66 (1):5-21.
    In response to Kripke's modal argument contemporary descriptivists suggest that referring terms, e.g., ‘water’, are synonymous with actually-rigidified definite descriptions, e.g., ‘the actual watery stuff’. Following Scott Soames, this strategy has the counterintuitive consequence that possible speakers on Perfect Earth cannot be ascribed water-beliefs without beliefs about the actual world. Co-indexing the actuality and possibility operators has the equally untoward result that possible speakers on Twin Earth are ascribed water-beliefs. So, Soames's dilemma is that the descriptivist can account for either (...)
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  27. Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (2004). Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style. Cognition 92 (3):1-12.
    Theories of reference have been central to analytic philosophy, and two views, the descriptivist view of reference and the causal-historical view of reference, have dominated the field. In this research tradition, theories of reference are assessed by consulting one’s intuitions about the reference of terms in hypothetical situations. However, recent work in cultural psychology (e.g., Nisbett et al. 2001) has shown systematic cognitive differences between East Asians and Westerners, and some work indicates that this extends to intuitions about philosophical cases (...)
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  28. Edouard Machery, Christopher Y. Olivola & Molly De Blanc (2009). Linguistic and Metalinguistic Intuitions in the Philosophy of Language. Analysis 69 (4):689-694.
    Machery et al. (2004) reported some preliminary evidence that intuitions about reference vary within and across cultures, and they argued that if real, such variation would have significant philosophical implications (see also Mallon et al. 2009). In a recent article, Genoveva Martı´ (2009) argues that the type of intuitions examined by Machery and colleagues (‘metalin- 10 guistic intuitions’) is evidentially irrelevant for identifying the correct theory of reference, and she concludes that the variation in the relevant intuitions about reference within (...)
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  29. Ishani Maitra, Brian Weatherson & Jonathan Ichikawa (2012). In Defense of a Kripkean Dogma. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):56-68.
    In “Against Arguments from Reference” (Mallon et al., 2009), Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols, and Stephen Stich (hereafter, MMNS) argue that recent experiments concerning reference undermine various philosophical arguments that presuppose the correctness of the causal-historical theory of reference. We will argue three things in reply. First, the experiments in question—concerning Kripke’s Gödel/Schmidt example—don’t really speak to the dispute between descriptivism and the causal-historical theory; though the two theories are empirically testable, we need to look at quite different data (...)
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  30. Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich (2009). Against Arguments From Reference. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):332 - 356.
    It is common in various quarters of philosophy to derive philosophically significant conclusions from theories of reference. In this paper, we argue that philosophers should give up on such 'arguments from reference.' Intuitions play a central role in establishing theories of reference, and recent cross-cultural work suggests that intuitions about reference vary across cultures and between individuals within a culture (Machery et al. 2004). We argue that accommodating this variation within a theory of reference undermines arguments from reference.
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  31. Teresa Marques & Manuel García-Carpintero (2014). Nomes Vazios. Compêndio Em Linha de Problemas de Filosofia Analítica.
    Os nomes próprios são termos singulares que intuitivamente indicam os objectos do discurso ou pensamento. Alguns nomes falham na sua função de referir, sem que, aparentemente, deixem de desempenhar um papel representacional. Isso é paradoxal: Por um lado, os objectos referidos deveriam fazer parte de uma caracterização correcta dos nomes próprios. Por outro lado, o significado das frases que incorporam nomes vácuos sugere que tais objectos são extrínsecos aos pensamentos transmitidos. Isto é o problema que se levanta com a existência (...)
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  32. Genoveva Marti (2009). Against Semantic Multi-Culturalism. Analysis 69 (1):42-48.
    E. Machery, R. Mallon, S. Nichols and S. Stich, have argued that there is empirical evidence against Kripke’s claim that names are not descriptive. Their argument is based on an experiment that compares the intuitions about proper name use of a group of English speakers in Hong Kong with those of a group of non-Chinese American students. The results of the experiment suggest that in some cultures speakers use names descriptively. I argue that such a conclusion is incorrect, for the (...)
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  33. Ari Maunu (2015). Frege and the Description Theory: An Attempt at Rehabilitation. Grazer Philosophische Studien 92:109-116.
    I question the received view that Frege advocates the description theory of proper names. First, I argue that the textual evidence for this view from Frege’s writings is not conclusive. Secondly, I propose that the Fregean Sinne (of proper names) may be understood nondescriptionally in terms of symbolhood. Finally, I suggest that in the notorious passages where Frege is apparently supporting the description theory he is just indicating the potential problems with communication with proper names.
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  34. L. A. Paul (2013). Realism About Structure and Kinds. In Stephen Mumford & Matthew Tugby (eds.), Metaphysics and Science. Oxford University Press
  35. Andrew Peet (forthcoming). Referential Intentions and Communicative Luck. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-6.
    Brian Loar [1976] observed that communicative success with singular terms requires more than correct referent assignment. For communicative success to be achieved the audience must assign the right referent in the right way. Loar, and others since, took this to motivate Fregean accounts of the semantics of singular terms. Ray Buchanan [2014] has recently responded, maintaining that although Loar is correct to claim that communicative success with singular terms requires more than correct referent assignment, this is compatible with direct reference (...)
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  36. Jessica Pepp (2012). Reference and Referring: A Framework. In William P. Kabasenche, Michael O'Rourke & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Reference and Referring. MIT Press 1-32.
  37. Gilbert Plumer (1993). A Here-Now Theory of Indexicality. Journal of Philosophical Research 18:193-211.
    This paper attempts to define indexicality so as to semantically distinguish indexicals from proper names and definite descriptions. The widely-accepted approach that says that indexical reference is distinctive in being dependent on context of use is criticized. A reductive approach is proposed and defended that takes an indexical to be (roughly) an expression that either is or is equivalent to ‘here’ or ‘now’, or is such that a tokening of it refers by relating something to the place and/or time that (...)
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  38. Gilbert Plumer (1980). Hegel on Singular Demonstrative Reference. Southwestern Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):71-94.
    The initial one-third of the paper is devoted to exposing the first chapter (“Sense-Certainty”) of Hegel’s PHENOMENOLOGY OF SPIRIT as a thesis about reference, viz., that singular demonstrative reference is impossible. In the remainder I basically argue that such a view commits one to radically undermining our conceptions of space, time, and substance (concrete individuality), and rests on the central mistake of construing <this> on the model of a predicable (or property).
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  39. Allen Porter, Truth, Reference, and Realism: Putnam's Challenge.
    The question of truth is perhaps a perennial question of philosophy. Is truth “merely” epistemological, a function of contingent human practices and conventions, or should we adopt a stonger, metaphysical conception of truth along realist lines, understood as correspondence with objectively existing reality? In this paper I examine a famous debate in the analytic philosophy of language that hinges on the status of truth – specifically, the challenge to traditional or metaphysical realism posed by Hilary Putnam’s model-theoretic argument and the (...)
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  40. Ian Proops (2011). Russell on Substitutivity and the Abandonment of Propositions. Philosophical Review 120 (2):151-205.
    The paper argues that philosophers commonly misidentify the substitutivity principle involved in Russell’s puzzle about substitutivity in “On Denoting”. This matters because when that principle is properly identified the puzzle becomes considerably sharper and more interesting than it is often taken to be. This article describes both the puzzle itself and Russell's solution to it, which involves resources beyond the theory of descriptions. It then explores the epistemological and metaphysical consequences of that solution. One such consequence, it argues, is that (...)
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  41. Panu Raatikainen (2006). Against Causal Descriptivism. Mind and Society 5 (1):78-84.
    Causal descriptivism and its relative nominal descriptivism are critically examined. It is argued that they do not manage to undermine the principal conclusions of the new theory of reference.
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  42. Erich Rast (2007). Reference and Indexicality. Logos.
    Reference and indexicality are two central topics in the Philosophy of Language that are closely tied together. In the first part of this book, a description theory of reference is developed and contrasted with the prevailing direct reference view with the goal of laying out their advantages and disadvantages. The author defends his version of indirect reference against well-known objections raised by Kripke in Naming and Necessity and his successors, and also addresses linguistic aspects like compositionality. In the second part, (...)
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  43. François Recanati (2012). Mental Files. Oxford University Press.
    Over the past fifty years the philosophy of language and mind has been dominated by a nondescriptivist approach to content and reference. This book attempts to recast and systematize that approach by offering an indexical model in terms of mental files. According to Recanati, we refer through mental files, the function of which is to store information derived through certain types of contextual relation the subject bears to objects in his or her environment. The reference of a file is determined (...)
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  44. François Recanati (2009). Anti-Descriptivism, Mental Files, And The Communication Of Singular Thoughts. Manuscrito 32 (1):7-32.
    In this paper, I argue that singular thought about an object involves nondescriptive or de re ways of thinking of that object, that is, modes of presentation resting on contextual relations of ‘acquaintance’ to the object. Such modes of presentation I analyse as mental files in which the subject can store information gained through the acquaintance relations in question. I show that the mental -file approach provides a solution to a vexing problem regarding the communication of singular thoughts: If singular (...)
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  45. François Recanati (2009). Singular Thought: In Defense of Acquaintance. In Robin Jeshion (ed.), New Essays on Singular Thought. OUP Oxford 141.
    This paper is about the Descriptivism/Singularism debate, which has loomed large in 20-century philosophy of language and mind. My aim is to defend Singularism by showing, first, that it is a better and more promising view than even the most sophisticated versions of Descriptivism, and second, that the recent objections to Singularism (based on a dismissal of the acquaintance constraint on singular thought) miss their target.
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  46. Jason Stanley (1999). Understanding, Context-Relativity, and the Description Theory. Analysis 59 (1):14 - 18.
  47. Justin Sytsma & Jonathan Livengood (2011). A New Perspective Concerning Experiments on Semantic Intuitions. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):315-332.
    Machery, Mallon, Nichols, and Stich [2004; forthcoming] use experimental methods to raise a spectre of doubt about reliance on intuitions in developing theories of reference which are then deployed in philosophical arguments outside the philosophy of language. Machery et al. ran a cross-cultural survey asking Western and East Asian participants about a famous case from the philosophical literature on reference (Kripke's G del example). They interpret their results as indicating that there is significant variation in participants' intuitions about semantic reference (...)
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  48. Alexandros Tillas & James Trafford (2015). Communicating Content. Language and Communication 40:1-13.
    This paper aims to develop a unified account of communication, competence and reference fixing that surpasses problems with two of the most influential views on the philosophical market, neodescriptivism and the 'locking' theory. Our charge is that the conditions upon communication are less substantive than the neo-descriptivist account requires and the conditions upon reference-fixing are more substantive than those provided by the locking-view. In order to avoid the problems that neodescriptivist views face (e.g. holism), we suggest that the shareability of (...)
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  49. Zsófia Zvolenszky (2012). Searle on Analyticity, Necessity, and Proper Names. Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19 (2):109-136.
    My aim is to show that once we appreciate how Searle (1958) fills in the details of his account of proper names – which I will dub the presuppositional view – and how we might supplement it further, we are in for a twofold discovery. First, Searle’s account is crucially unlike the so-called cluster-of-descriptions view, which many philosophers take Searle to have held. Second, the presuppositional view he did hold is interesting, plausible, and worthy of serious reconsideration. The idea that (...)
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