David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 165 (1):279-296 (2013)
I argue that mental descriptivism cannot be reasonably thought superior to rival theories on the grounds that it can (while they cannot) provide an elegant account of reference failure. Descriptivism about the particular-directed intentionality of our mental states fails when applied to desires. Consider, for an example, the desire that Satan not tempt me. On the descriptivist account, it looks like my desire would be fulfilled in conditions in which there exists exactly one thing satisfying some description only Satan satisfies (call it the Satanic Description). However, against this analysis, it is clearly compatible with desiring that Satan not tempt me that I also desire that there exist nothing satisfying the Satanic Description. The descriptivist has room for maneuver here, but the cost of accommodating this phenomenon is that the descriptivist shall no longer be able to use her theory to ameliorate the possibility of reference failure
|Keywords||Descriptivism Desires Propositional attitudes Russell Frege|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Martin Bell & Mark De Bretton Platts (1980). Ways of Meaning. Philosophical Quarterly 30 (119):164.
David Braun (1993). Empty Names. Noûs 27 (4):449-469.
Michael Devitt (1989). Against Direct Reference. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 14 (1):206-240.
Paul Elbourne (2010). The Existence Entailments of Definite Descriptions. Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (1):1-10.
Richard Heck (2002). Do Demonstratives Have Senses? Philosophers' Imprint 2 (2):1-33.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Josep Macià (1998). Does Naming and Necessity Refute Descriptivism? Theoria 13 (3):445-476.
Panu Raatikainen (2006). Against Causal Descriptivism. Mind and Society 5 (1):78-84.
Xiaoqiang Han (2010). There Is No Such Thing as Reference Failure. Abstracta 6 (1):23.
Luis Fernandez Moreno (2007). The Names of Historical Figures: A Descriptivist Reply. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 22 (2):155-168.
Leslie A. Howe (2005). Queer Revelations: Desire, Identity, and Self-Deceit. Philosophical Forum 36 (3):221–242.
Eduardo García-Ramírez & Marilyn Shatz (2011). On Problems with Descriptivism: Psychological Assumptions and Empirical Evidence. Mind and Language 26 (1):53-77.
Robin Jeshion (2002). The Epistemological Argument Against Descriptivism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):325-345.
Michael McGlone (2010). Essentialist arguments against descriptivism. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):443-462.
D. Cummiskey (1992). Reference Failure and Scientific Realism: A Response to the Meta-Induction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (1):21-40.
Alexis Burgess (2013). Metalinguistic Descriptivism for Millians. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):443-457.
Samuel C. Rickless (2012). Why and How to Fill an Unfilled Proposition. Theoria 78 (1):6-25.
A. P. Taylor (2013). The Frustrating Problem For Four-Dimensionalism. Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1097-1115.
Robin Jeshion (2002). The Epistemological Argument Against Descriptivism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):325 - 345.
Added to index2012-05-12
Total downloads20 ( #92,328 of 1,168,893 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #85,406 of 1,168,893 )
How can I increase my downloads?