'Neptune' between 'Hesperus' and 'vulcan': On descriptive names and non-existence [Book Review]

Acta Analytica 20 (3):48-58 (2005)
Abstract
This work will focus on some aspects of descriptive names. The New Theory of Reference, in line with Kripke, takes descriptive names to be proper names. I will argue in this paper that descriptive names and certain theory in reference to them, even when it disagrees with the New Theory of Reference, can shed light on our understanding of (some) non-existence statements. I define the concept of descriptive name for hypothesised object (DNHO). My thesis being that DNHOs are, as I will specify, descriptions: a proposition expressed by the utterance ‘n is F’, where ‘n’ is a DNHO, is not singular at all; it is a descriptive proposition. To sum up, concerning proper names, the truth lies closer to the New Theory of Reference, but descriptivism is not altogether false. As for DNHOs descriptivism is, in some cases, the right fit.
Keywords descriptive names  descriptive name for hypothesised object  empty names  non-existence statements  New Theory of Reference
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