David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophy 106 (3):113-136 (2009)
What's the relation between being a P and being called 'P', for example, between being a cat and being called 'cat'? Surely something might be a cat without being called 'cat'; indeed, cats as such might not be called 'cats'. If the word 'cat' disappeared from the language, the event would not entail the disappearence of cats. What about the converse implication? Does being called 'cat' entail being a cat? It would seem so. For suppose 'cat' refers to certain objects, and let Moon be one such object. Consider the statement that Moon is a cat. The statement is true just in case Moon is one of the objects that 'cat' refers to, which she is. Hence, the statement is true, therefore Moon is a cat. Being among the objects that 'cat' refers to entails being a cat. However, it is one thing to say that 'cat' refers to certain objects, and (possibly) a different thing to say that certain objects are called 'cats'. Spiders are often called 'insects', yet 'insect' does not refer to spiders: it is not correct to call spiders 'insects'. "Being called" is often intended as a descriptive notion: whether something is, or is not called 'P' is just a fact that can be stated in terms of people's behavior or patterns of behavior. Reference, on the other hand, may not be descriptive in this sense. Philosophers have often been trying to characterize the quasi-technical notion of reference by suitably restricting or qualifying the everyday, descriptive notion of "being called". Success in such an enterprise would amount to showing that being called* 'P' -a suitably modified version of being called 'P'- entails being P. Whether the enterprise is bound to fail is not the topic of this article. Here, I would like to show that one such attempt did fail, whereas another, more recent attempt that would seem to be bound to fail for analogous reasons does not fail; or not for such reasons, anyway. A few decades ago, some philosophers believed that being called 'P' was (with some qualifications) a sufficient condition for being a P..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Alex Byrne (forthcoming). Intentionality. In J. Pfeifer & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia. Routledge
Julia Tanner (2008). Why I Won’T Hurt Your Felines? In Steven Hales (ed.), What Philosophy Can Tell You About Your Cat. Open Court Publishing
Traci Warkentin (2010). Interspecies Etiquette: An Ethics of Paying Attention to Animals. Ethics and the Environment 15 (1):pp. 101-121.
Dan López de Sa (2014). Lewis Vs Lewis on the Problem of the Many. Synthese 191 (6):1105-1117.
Alex Byrne (2010). Recollection, Perception, Imagination. Philosophical Studies 148 (1):15 - 26.
David Lewis (1979). Attitudes de Dicto and de Se. Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
Christopher Belshaw (2010). Animals, Identity and Persistence. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):401 - 419.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads166 ( #21,834 of 1,907,511 )
Recent downloads (6 months)118 ( #1,919 of 1,907,511 )
How can I increase my downloads?