David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Acta Analytica 20 (3):48-58 (2005)
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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References found in this work BETA
T. Hofweber & A. Everett (eds.) (2000). Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence. CSLI Publications.
Saul Kripke (2010). Naming and Necessity. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge 431-433.
John Perry (1988). Symposium Papers, Comments, and an Abstract: Cognitive Significance and New Theories of Reference. Noûs 22 (1):1-18.
Scott Soames (2002). Beyond Rigidity: The Unfinished Semantic Agenda of Naming and Necessity. Oxford University Press.
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