Calling names

Analysis 72 (2):285-293 (2012)
Abstract
Many who agree with Kripke that ‘sloppy, colloquial speech’ often confuses use and mention would deem ‘ a is called N’ an example of such confusion, insisting on ‘ a is called "N"’ as the properly philosophical, un-sloppy, way of saying what is usually intended. Delia Graff Fara demurs – in my view, rightly. But the reasons she gives for doing so are, I think, themselves questionable and in any case do not go to the heart of the mistake on which Kripke's condemnation of colloquial speech as sloppy rests. I discuss Fara's claims that what is behind the mistake is failing to appreciate the difference between "appellative" and "referring" uses of names and overlooking the fact that names sometimes function as predicates, finding fault with both. I then argue that the mistake stems from adherence to a widely accepted picture of the mechanics of mentioning and that it is that picture that is confused, not ordinary speakers
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