David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Oxford University Press (2013)
Reference and Existence, Saul Kripke's John Locke Lectures for 1973, can be read as a sequel to his classic Naming and Necessity. It confronts important issues left open in that work -- among them, the semantics of proper names and natural kind terms as they occur in fiction and in myth; negative existential statements; the ontology of fiction and myth (whether it is true that fictional characters like Hamlet, or mythical kinds like bandersnatches, might have existed). In treating these questions, he makes a number of methodological observations that go beyond the framework of his earlier book -- including the striking claim that fiction cannot provide a test for theories of reference and naming. In addition, these lectures provide a glimpse into the transition to the pragmatics of singular reference that dominated his influential paper, "Speaker's Reference and Semantic Reference" -- a paper that helped reorient linguistic and philosophical semantics. Some of the themes have been worked out in later writings by other philosophers -- many influenced by typescripts of the lectures in circulation -- but none have approached the careful, systematic treatment provided here. The virtuosity of Naming and Necessity -- the colloquial ease of the tone, the dazzling, on-the-spot formulations, the logical structure of the overall view gradually emerging over the course of the lectures -- is on display here as well.
|Keywords||fiction proper names empty names negative existential statements natural kind terms|
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Citations of this work BETA
Roy Sorensen (2015). Fictional Theism. Analysis 75 (4):539-550.
Richard Woodward (2015). Identity in Fiction. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3).
Marina Folescu (2015). Thinking About Different Nonexistents of the Same Kind. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):n/a-n/a.
Luke Manning (2015). No Identity Without an Entity. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1):279-305.
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