On Problems with Descriptivism: Psychological Assumptions and Empirical Evidence

Mind and Language 26 (1):53-77 (2011)
Abstract
We offer an empirical assessment of description theories of proper names. We examine empirical evidence on lexical and cognitive development, memory, and aphasia, to see whether it supports Descriptivism. We show that description theories demand much more, in terms of psychological assumptions, than what the data suggest; hence, they lack empirical support. We argue that this problem undermines their success as philosophical theories for proper names in natural languages. We conclude by presenting and defending a preliminary alternative account of reference from a developmental perspective
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References found in this work BETA
Kent Bach (1981). What's in a Name. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):371 – 386.
Tyler Burge (1973). Reference and Proper Names. Journal of Philosophy 70 (14):425-439.

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Citations of this work BETA
Eduardo García-Ramírez (2011). A Cognitive Theory of Empty Names. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (4):785-807.
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