A pragmatic defense of millianism

Philosophical Studies 138 (2):271 - 289 (2008)
Abstract
A new kind of defense of the Millian theory of names is given, which explains intuitive counter-examples as depending on pragmatic effects of the relevant sentences, by direct application of Grice’s and Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory and uncontroversial assumptions. I begin by arguing that synonyms are always intersubstitutable, despite Mates’ considerations, and then apply the method to names. Then, a fairly large sample of cases concerning names are dealt with in related ways. It is argued that the method, as applied to the various cases, satisfies the criterion of success: that for every sentence in context, it is a counter-example to Millianism to the extent that it has pragmatic effects (matching speakers’ intuitions).
Keywords names  Millianism  direct reference  pragmatics  Mates  synonymy  compositionality  Grice  relevance
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References found in this work BETA
Jon Barwise & John Perry (1981). Situations and Attitudes. Journal of Philosophy 78 (11):668-691.
Jonathan Berg (1988). The Pragmatics of Substitutivity. Linguistics and Philosophy 11 (3):355 - 370.
Tyler Burge (1978). Belief and Synonymy. Journal of Philosophy 75 (3):119-138.

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Eros Corazza (2002). Description-Names. Journal of Philosophical Logic 31 (4):313-325.
Leo Iacono (2008). Beyond Millianism. Philosophical Studies 140 (3):423 - 436.
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