Descriptivist Reference from Metaphysical Essence

Dialectica 64 (3):419-433 (2010)
Scott Soames (2002) has recently developed and defended strategies for (i) accounting for the meaning of Millian terms, and (ii) extending Kripke's insights from proper names to natural kind terms. In this paper I argue that if we accept these strategies, and their implausible assumptions and consequences, then we can present a novel defence of descriptivism for at least some natural kind terms – those for substances – on that basis. The conclusion, then, will be that there is just no motivation for being a Soamesian Kripkean for an important class of natural kind terms.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2010.01239.x
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Saul Kripke (2010). Naming and Necessity. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge 431-433.

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