The Epistemological Argument Against Descriptivism

The epistemological argument against descriptivism about proper names is extremely simple. For a 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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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2002.tb00004.x
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References found in this work BETA
Saul Kripke (2010). Naming and Necessity. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge 431-433.

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Citations of this work BETA
Arash Pessian (2010). Reference to the Best Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (4):363-374.

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