Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):325-345 (2002)
|Abstract||The epistemological argument against descriptivism about proper names is extremely simple. Fora proper name `N' and definite description `F', the proposition expressed by ``If N exists, then N is F'' is not normally known a priori. But descriptivism about proper names entails otherwise. So descriptivism is false. The argument is widely regarded as sound. This paper aims to establish that the epistemological argument is highly unstable. The problem with the argument is that there seems to be no convincing rationale for the first premise that is independent of a view about the nature of the proposition expressed by the sentence ``If N exists, then N is F''.|
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