David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Standard rigid designator accounts of a name’s meaning have trouble accommodating what I will call a descriptive name’s “shifty” character -- its tendency to shift its referent over time in response to a discovery that the conventional referent of that name does not satisfy the description with which that name was introduced. I offer a variant of Kripke’s historical semantic theory of how names function, a variant that can accommodate the character of descriptive names while maintaining rigidity for proper names. A descriptive name’s shiftiness calls for a semantic account of names that makes their semantic values bipartite, containing both traditional semantic contents and what I call "modes of introduction." Both parts of a name's semantic value are derived from the way a name gets introduced into discourse -- from what I refer to as its "context of introduction." Making a name's semantic value bipartite in this way allows for a definite description to be a part of proper name's meaning without thereby sacrificing that name’s status as a rigid designator. On my view, a definite description is part of descriptive name’s mode of introduction. That is, it is part of what determines the content assigned to that name. As it turns out, making a definite description part of a descriptive name’s mode of introduction allows for that definite description to play the role of a mere reference-fixer regarding that name’s content, as Kripke would have it. However, my account allows a definite description to fix a descriptive name’s content actively over time, thereby explaining its inherent shiftiness.
|Keywords||Descriptive names Rigid designators Ostensive names Kripke's semantic argument Proper names|
|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
David S. Schwarz (1978). Causality, Referring, and Proper Names. Linguistics and Philosophy 2 (2):225 - 233.
Edward Kanterian (2009). Puzzles About Descriptive Names. Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (4):409-428.
Mark Textor (1998). Rigidity and De Jure Rigidity. Teorema 17 (1):45-59.
Agustin Arrieta Urtizberea (2005). 'Neptune' Between 'Hesperus' and 'Vulcan': On Descriptive Names and Non-Existence. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 20 (3):48-58.
Rod Bertolet (2001). Recanati, Descriptive Names, and the Prospect of New Knowledge. Journal of Philosophical Research 26:37-41.
Heidi Tiedke (2011). Proper Names and Their Fictional Uses. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):707 - 726.
Emar Maier (2009). Proper Names and Indexicals Trigger Rigid Presuppositions. Journal of Semantics 26 (3):253-315.
M. D'Cruz (2000). A Theory of Ordinary Proper Names. Mind 109 (436):721-756.
Ora Matushansky (2008). On the Linguistic Complexity of Proper Names. Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (5):573-627.
M. Fletcher Maumus (2012). Proper Names. Polish Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):41-56.
Chen Bo (2012). A Descriptivist Refutation of Kripke's Modal Argument and of Soames's Defence. Theoria 78 (3):225-260.
Emar Maier (2007). Proper Names as Rigid Presuppositions. In Estella Puig-Waldmüller (ed.), Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 11. 418-32.
Hugh S. Chandler (1975). Rigid Designation. Journal of Philosophy 72 (13):363-369.
Added to index2010-12-23
Total downloads175 ( #4,296 of 1,102,061 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #21,911 of 1,102,061 )
How can I increase my downloads?