Conventions in the use of names are discussed, particularly names of linguistic expressions. Also the reference of measure terms like ‘kg’ is discussed, and it is found analogous in important respects to expression names. Some new light is shed on the token-type distinction. Applications to versions of the liar paradox are shown. The use of quotation marks is critically examined.
This contribution discusses the philosophical meaning of the Martin Heidegger’s Rectoral address. First of all, Heidegger’s philosophical basic experience is sketched as the background of his Rectoral address; the being-historical concept of “Anfang”. Then, the philosophical question of the Rectoral address is discussed. It is shown, that Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen Universität is asking for the identity of human being there (Dasein) in connection with the question about dem Eigenen (the Germans) and dem Fremden (the Greeks). This opposition structuralizes the (...) confrontation with the beginning of philosophical thinking in the Rectoral address. When read against the philosophical background sustaining the Rectoral address, words appearing therein such as “Kampf”, “Macht”, “Volk” and “Marsch” have nothing in common with the same words as used by the Nazis. It is shown that the Rectoral address is an extremely ambiguous text, because it claims a transformation of human being there (Dasein). Although Heidegger’s view on National Socialism is distinguished from Nazis ideology, it is clear that he made a mistake about Hitler. This article makes clear how Heidegger later changed his mind and vocabulary, and in what way this kind of mistakes and changes of mind are inherent to philosophical empiricism. (shrink)
I recently had the occasion to reread Naming and Necessity by Saul Kripke. NaN struck me this time, as it always has, as breathtakingly clear and lucid. It also struck me this time, as it always has, as wrong-headed in several major ways, both in its methodology and its content. Herein is a brief explanation why.
In this essay I present the postmodern phenomenological approach of Levinas, Derrida, and Marion to the problem of naming the unnameable God. For Levinas, God is never experienced directly but only as a third person whose infinity is testified to in the infinity of responsibility to the hungry. For Derrida, God remains the unnameable "wholly other" accessible only as the indeterminate term of pure reference in prayer. For Marion, God remains the object of "de-nomination" through praise. In all three, (...) the problem of naming the unnameable God is necessarily linked to how we relate to fellow human beings, to the hungry in Levinas, justice in Derrida, and charity in Marion. I also reflect on the merits and adequacy of phenomenology as such for speaking of divine transcendence. (shrink)
The problem of reference is central to the fields of linguistics, cognitive science, and epistemology yet it remains largely unresolved. Naming and Reference explains the reference of lexical terms, with particular emphasis placed on proper names, demonstrative pronouns and personal pronouns. It examines such specific issues as: how to account for the reference of names that are empty or speculative, which abound in science and philosophy, and how to account for intentional reference as in "he took Mary to be (...) Jane." Naming and Reference begins with a survey of the history of the subject within a philosophical and critical setting, from Locke, Brentano, Peirce, Frege, Russell, Strawson, Tarski, Carnap and Quine up to Kripke and Fodor. The rest of the book is devoted to an algorithmic theory of reference derived from Peirce's idea that signification is a three-way relationship involving a term, an object and an interpretant. The theory rounds out the causal notion of reference, while at the same time preserving Frege's distinction between sense and reference, and making a place for indexical terms. Through the use of various computer models, R. J. Nelson explores the meaning and reference of words to objects and the relationship of these phenomena to perception, belief and truth. The models used are parallel, connectionist computational models rather than the sequential models of mid-century artificial intelligence. The aim, in opposition to nativist and mental representation theories, is to account for the genesis of semantically interpretable symbols, not to assume them. (shrink)
Despite all the attention philosophers have been paying to Naming and Necessity, they have not realized just how apt the title is: naming and necessity are intimately connected, even more intimately then Saul Kripke has led us to believe. The conception of necessity clarified by Kripke—metaphysical or counterfactual necessity—helps us understand what our ordinary practice of using proper names is about; and proper-name usage in turn helps us understand what counterfactual situations (possible worlds) are about. My aim is (...) to propose yet another picture: (i) inherent in proper-name usage is the expectation that names refer to modally robust individuals:1 individuals that can sustain modal predications like ‘is necessarily human’, or ‘might have discovered Goldbach’s conjecture’; (ii) these modally robust individuals are the fundamental building blocks on the basis of which possible worlds should be conceived in a modal semantics intended to mirror the conceptual apparatus behind ordinary modal talk. In Part II, I describe (i) and (ii), what I call the individual-driven picture. In Part III, I relate this picture to others. The pre-Kripkean pictures of individuals and modality were markedly different. First, there was the conception of modality as logical or analytic necessity. Second, there was the conception of possible worlds needed for physical necessity, giving rise to issues about the transworld identification of individuals. Third came Kripke’s proposal that proper names are rigid designators. Fourth, in the wake of Kripke’s Naming and Necessity lectures, David Kaplan suggested that proper names were directly referential expressions whose propositional contribution was their referent. Sections 1–4 summarize each of these four milestones. Kripke’s view was close to the individual-driven picture. Kaplan’s was even closer—when he was not talking about propositions and what proper names contribute to them.. (shrink)
Saul Kripke ’s book Naming and Necessity (which first appeared in 1972 as a paper within a volume on natural language semantics1) is felt, by many linguists and philosophers, as a milestone of the semantic analysis of natural language. Prior to it, many semanticists took for granted that the meaning of any expression must be a two-level matter, consisting of something of the kind of what Frege called Sinn and Bedeutung or what Carnap christened as intension and extension. The (...) first of the components is what the speaker knows when she understands the expression (and the knowledge of which is independent of any knowledge of facts external to the language in question), while the second amounts to some kind of chunk of the real world which gets denoted or referred to by the expression. Thus, the intension of the king of France is what you get to know as soon as you come to understand the phrase, and the extension is what (if anything) happens to be picked out by the intension in the actual world in the actual moment. This is to say that an expression gets to into the contact with its extension only via the intension (which we can imagine also as a kind of a criterion for picking up the thing). Intension, then, is what amounts to the meaning of the expression in the intuitive sense of the word2. Now Kripke’s considerations challenged this very two-level structure of meaning: he argued that especially proper names get their semantics via a direct, inmediated contact with the world – that their meaning does not mediate their contact with a thing, but directly is the thing. This may be not so surprising in case of proper names (after all, it is even disputable whether they can be counted to the language – for you cannot find them in dictionaries), but Kripke went on to argue that the same holds also for some other expressions, especially natural kind terms such as “cow” or “water”. Kripke’s argumentation is concise and flattening; and it has been provoking a lot of discussions.. (shrink)
In Naming and Necessity Saul Kripke offers a number of arguments in order to show that no descriptivist theory of proper names is correct. We present here a certain version of descriptivist theory -we will characterize it as an individual-use reference-fixing descriptivist theory that appeals to descriptions regarding how a name is used by other speakers. This kind of theory can successfully answer all the objections Kripke puts forward in Naming and Necessity. Such sort of descriptivist theory is (...) furthermore compatible with the picture about reference that Kripke presents. It also seems to be able to account for some phenomena that are difficult to explain on Kripke’s view (the existence of informative identity statements and true negative singular existential statements). (shrink)
Victor Klemperer, German philologist and Professor at the University of Dresden, bears testimony to his survival during the Nazi years in his Diaries (1933–1945). Progressively excluded from all social life because of his Jewish religion, Klemperer is forced to recognize himself as a non-subject by the end of the war, calling himself “Nobody” in reference to Ulysses with Polyphemus, the Cyclops. Our article aims to show the mental — cognitive and corporal — process underlying this recognition. Our study will explore (...) the two-pronged thrust of this process: faced with the inexorable destruction of his self, Klemperer has to acknowledge the limits of his analytical capacities. But this extreme experience will enable him to create somatic knowledge destined to recognize what he calls “thought of extinction”. To conclude, we show how this reasoning is based upon action language which consists in naming the body. (shrink)
This paper outlines a framework for the abstract investigation of the concept of canonicity of names and of naming systems. Degrees of canonicity of names and of naming systems are distinguished. The structure of the degrees is investigated, and a notion of relative canonicity is defined. The notions of canonicity are formally expressed within a Carnapian system of second-order modal logic.
In Basic Color Terms, Berlin and Kay argued for a restricted number of "basic" color wordswords they claimed to be culturally universal. This claim about language was buttressed by psychologist Eleanor Rosch's famous work on color prototypes. Together, the works of Berlin and Kay and Rosch are the foundation for a contemporary research tradition investigating the biological foundations of color naming. In this article, the author describes some common objections to the works of Berlin and Kay and Rosch and (...) argues that they are not significant. The claim that explanations of color naming ought to be strictly cultural also is discussed and rejected. (shrink)
Categorization and Naming in Children: Problems of Induction ELLEN M. MARKMAN, 1989, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, x+250 pp. Concepts, Kinds and Cognitive Development FRANK C. KEIL, 1989, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, xv+328 pp.
In this article, I want to focus on time and development in Kripke’s “Naming and Necessity” by considering two topics: (1) the evolution of scientific knowledge; (2) the evolution of biographies. In connection with (1) I suggest the introduction of a sentence operator for epistemic possibility and argue that some of Kripke’s strong metaphysical statements are finely counterbalanced by rather “Popperian” epistemological considerations. In connection with (2) I consider the idea of exploiting necessity of origin for a crossworld identity (...) criterion. (shrink)
Philosophers of language have lavished attention on names and other singular referring expressions. But they have focused primarily on what might be called lexicalsemantic character of names and have largely ignored both what I call the lexicalsyntactic character of names and also what I call the pragmatic significance of the naming relation. Partly as a consequence, explanatory burdens have mistakenly been heaped upon semantics that properly belong elsewhere. This essay takes some steps toward correcting these twin lacunae. When we (...) properly distinguish that which belongs to the lexical-syntactic character of names, from that which belongs to the lexical semantic character of names, from that which rests on the pragmatics of the naming relation, we lay to rest many misbegotten claims about names and their presumed semantic behavior. For example, though many believe that Frege’s puzzle about the possibility of informative identity statements motivates a move away from a referentialist semantics for names, I argue that the very possibility of Frege cases has its source not in facts about the lexical-semantic character of names but in facts about the lexical-syntax of the naming relation. If I am right, Frege cases as such are insufficient to justify the introduction of the distinction between sense and reference. In a similar vein, I offer a new diagnosis of the widely misdiagnosed felt invalidity of the substitution of coreferring names within propositional attitude contexts. That felt invalidity has been taken 1 to justify the conclusion that an embedded referring expression must be playing some semantic role either different from or additional to its customary semantic role of standing for its reference. I argue, to the contrary, that failures of substitutivity have their source not in the peculiar semantic behavior of embedded expressions but entirely in certain pragmatic principles. (shrink)
Raymond Bradley ha ofrecido una interpretacion esencialista de la ontologia deI Tractatus Logico Philosophicus de Wittgenstein (R. Bradley, The Nature of All Being, 1992), en la que pretende desarrollar las dimensiones modales que en su opinión estan implícitas en el Tractatus. EI proposito de este trabajo es revisar la interpretación bradleyana de los nombres tractarianos corno designadores rígidos, examinando la noción tractariana de nombre y la kripkeana de designador rigido en Naming and Necessity, con un doble objetivo: contestar a (...) la cuestión de si es posible interpretar los nombres tractarianos corno designadores rígidos, y alumbrar algunas semejanzas y diferencias entre ambas teorias deI significado.Raymond Bradley, in his book The Nature of All Being, has put forward an essentialist interpretation of the ontology of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logicophilosophicus and aims to develop the modal dimensions that, in his opinion, are implicit in that work. The aim of this paper is to reassess Bradley’s interpretation of tractarian names as rigid designators, by examining the tractarian notion of name and the kripkeanconcept of rigid designator in Naming and Necessity, with a view to answering the question as to whether an interpretation of tractarian names as rigid designators is possible, and to bringing to light some similarities and diffirences between the two theories of meaning. (shrink)
The traditional reading of ancient Chinese texts focuses on their content rather than their modes of expression: truth is considered a given, of which language is merely the expression. This approach misses out on a predominant way of arguing in Chinese texts, namely to evaluate the situation by (re) naming it. A discussion of four textual fragments (up to the 2nd century BC) concerning the topic of regicide illustrates different degrees of this type of argumentation. Among philosophers discussion occurs (...) in a subtle play of specifying terms such as 'regicide' or 'reign', rather than in an explicit defence of regicide by appeal to higher principles. (shrink)
The simulations of Steels & Belpaeme (S&B) suggest that communication could lead to color categories that are closely shared within a language and potentially diverge across languages. We argue that this is opposite of the patterns that are actually observed in empirical studies of color naming. Focal color choices more often exhibit strong concordance across languages while also showing pronounced variability within any language.
The experimental analysis of naming behavior can tell us exactly the kinds of things Horne & Lowe (H & L) report here: (1) the conditions under which people and animals succeed or fail in naming things and (2) the conditions under which bidirectional associations are formed between inputs (objects, pictures of objects, seen or heard names of objects) and outputs (spoken names of objects, multimodal operations on objects). The "stimulus equivalence" that H & L single out is really (...) just the reflexive, symmetric and transitive property of pairwise associations among the above. This is real and of some interest, but it unfortunately casts very little light on symbolization and language in general, and naming capacity in particular. The associative equivalence between name and object is trivial in relation to the real question, which is: How do we (or any system that can do it) manage to connect names to things correctly (Harnad 1987, 1990, 1992)? The experimental analysis of naming behavior begs this question entirely, simply taking it for granted that the connection is somehow successfully accomplished. (shrink)
What’s in a name after Derrida? What’s in a name after all? What is a name such that it always already remains, after all is said and done? And who or what is itthat one calls name, names, or by name? Is it possible (for anyone or anything) not to have a name of one’s own? Or to have another? The same as another? Is it possible to call and recall, in the name of memory and remembrance, indifference or convention, (...) one name for another, one name for the other? Can the name be, as it were, avoided? Could anyone respond responsibly yet decline or resist, not so much that (or because) names wound, nor to protect oneself from being called names, but instead neither to call nor respond to the name, as it were, to the very same name one is called? To protest against the name, to refuse the name to the point of abandoning this and that name? To invent oneself beyond the name, beyond all names, in the name of the name? “For in order to live oneself truly,” Derrida writes, “it is necessary to elude the law of the name, the familial law made for survival and constantly recalling me to death.” What is called naming? One could say that the name is, to life, at once insult and injury. Or that calling names—mourning. (shrink)
For Saint Anselm, the mystery of the Holy Trinity was not merely an object of intellectual speculation but, more importantly, the object of praise and worship. Even though he claims that there is nothing in his treatise that violates the teachings of the Fathers, especially that of Augustine, Anselm explores in Monologion the doctrine of the Trinity in his own unique style. One very interesting discussion that does not appear in Augustine’s De Trinitate or in any of the Augustinian corpus (...) is found in chapter 42, in which Anselm argues for the propriety of naming the Supreme Spirit “Father” and His Word “Son.” This paper examines this chapter, first, in the context of the four immediately preceding chapters and, second, in the context of those writings of Augustine that might have influenced Anselm in his presentation. The paper then offers reasons why Anselm included this unique chapter in his discussion on the Trinity. (shrink)
In this paper, I engage in a preliminary discussion to the thorny problem of analogous naming in Aquinas; namely, the Maimonidean problem of how ourconceptual content can relate to us any knowledge of God. I identify this problem as the First Semantic/Epistemic Problem (FSEP) of religious language. Theprimary determination of semantic content for Aquinas is what I call the Aristotelian Epistemic Principle (AEP). This principle holds that a belief is related tosome experience in order to be known. I show (...) how an examination of the extent the AEP engenders the problem and allows us to find a way out of the FSEP. Forexample, through such an analysis, we can see how the AEP relates to Aquinas’s use of the distinction between the res significata and the modus significandi; the latter which includes the intension of being a created being where the former does not. (shrink)
Over the last two hundred years, there have been many occasions where the name of a newly-discovered element has provoked controversy and dissent but in modern times, the naming of elements after scientists has proved to be particularly contentious. Here we recount the threads of this story, predominantly through discourses in the popular scientific journals, the first major discussion on naming an element after a scientist (Moseley); the first definitive naming after a scientist (Curie); and the (...) first naming after a living scientist (Seaborg). (shrink)
This paper addresses the question of whether there is a proper analogy of being according to both meaning and being. I disagree with Ralph McInerny’s understanding of how things are named through concepts and argue that McInerny’s account does not allow for the thing represented by the name to be known in itself. In his understanding of analogy, only ideas of things may be known. This results in a wholesale inability to name things at all and thereby forces McInerny to (...) relegate naming to a purely logical concern. As a consequence, for McInerny, since naming becomes only a logical concern, being itself cannot be known as analogous according to being and meaning since naming only involves the naming of ideas, not of things. (shrink)
This study examines the use of names in the construction of “credibility” as a journalistic duty. Using the framework set forth by Tuchman (1972) of objectivity as a “strategic ritual,” the study discusses the ethical justifications put forth by the New York Times for the process through which it decided to identify a CIA interrogator who had been involved in questioning 9/11 captives. The examination concludes that the facticity of naming should ultimately be uncoupled from the concept of credibility.
Naming, according to Sebeok, constihttes the first stage of zoosemiotics. This special but common use of language acrually inaugurates more complicated procedures of human discourse on non-human kingdom, including classification of its members. Because of language's double articulation in sound and sense, as well as the grapheme's pleremic (meaning-full) rather than cenemic (meaning-empty) characteristic (according to Hjelmslev). Chinese script is capable of naming and grouping animals randomly but effectively. This paper attempts to describe the said scriptorial "necessity of (...)naming" (Kripke) in classical Chinese by citing all the creatures, real or fabulous, with a /ma/ (horse) radical. (shrink)
Understanding how scientific activities use naming stories to achieve disciplinary status is important not only for insight into the past, but for evaluating current claims that new disciplines are emerging. In order to gain a historical understanding of how new disciplines develop in relation to these baptismal narratives, we compare two recently formed disciplines, systems biology and genomics, with two earlier related life sciences, genetics and molecular biology. These four disciplines span the twentieth century, a period in which the (...) processes of disciplinary demarcation fundamentally changed from those characteristic of the nineteenth century. We outline how the establishment of each discipline relies upon an interplay of factors that include paradigmatic achievements, technological innovation, and social formations. Our focus, however, is the baptism stories that give the new discipline a founding narrative and articulate core problems, general approaches and constitutive methods. The highly plastic process of achieving disciplinary identity is further marked by the openness of disciplinary definition, tension between technological possibilities and the ways in which scientific issues are conceived and approached, synthesis of reductive and integrative strategies, and complex social interactions. The importance – albeit highly variable – of naming stories in these four cases indicates the scope for future studies that focus on failed disciplines or competing names. Further attention to disciplinary histories could, we suggest, give us richer insight into scientific development. (shrink)
The key to understanding Dionysius is the methodical acceptance of the literary fiction involved in reading an author who tries to recreate the immediateness of the first encounter of pagan wisdom and Christian doctrine. Dionysius’s method consists of the presentation of a Platonic ontology by way of biblical theonyms. These theonyms express whatever we can grasp of God by His self-communication toward us, yet they ultimately cannot reveal Him as He is. It is rewarding to compare biblical theonym and author’s (...) allonym at this point: the allonym “Dionysius Areopagita” expresses how the author wants to be read and received but not who he really is. Th us the Dionysian writings present themselves as if they were the communication of an early Christian author whose objective it is to proclaim the “unknown God” to philosophically educated Greeks, naming Him with the biblical theonyms and explaining them in a Platonic way. (shrink)
This paper discusses whether it can be known a priori that a particular term, such as water, is a natural kind term, and how this problem relates to Putnams claim that natural kind terms require an externalist semantics. Two conceptions of natural kind terms are contrasted: The first holds that whether water is a natural kind term depends on its a priori knowable semantic features. The second.
In this fascinating work, Scott Soames offers a new conception of the relationship between linguistic meaning and assertions made by utterances. He gives meanings of proper names and natural kind predicates and explains their use in attitude ascriptions. He also demonstrates the irrelevance of rigid designation in understanding why theoretical identities containing such predicates are necessary, if true.
In some ways that have been largely ignored, ethnic-group names might be similar to names of other kinds. If they are, for instance, analogous to proper names, then a correct semantic account of the latter could throw some light on how the meaning of ethnic-group names should be construed. Of course, proper names, together with definite descriptions, belong to the class of singular terms, and an influential view on the semantics of such terms was developed, at the turn of the (...) nineteenth century, from discussion of a puzzle about some differences in the cognitive value of certain statements of identity. Clearly, that a = a (e.g., that Mark Twain was Mark Twain) is trivial, and its truth could be known a priori, just by thinking. On the other hand, that a = b (e.g., that Mark Twain was Samuel Clemens) is of course informative and knowable only by empirical investigation. To solve this puzzle, Frege famously proposed that those variations in the cognitive value of statements of identity “can arise only if the difference between the signs corresponds to a difference in the mode of presentation of that which is designated.” On his view, although in the above statements of identity, the singular terms, ‘a,’ and, ‘b,’ may designate the same thing, they do so with different senses, or under different modes of presentation of that object. When the puzzling statements involving ‘a’ and ‘b’ are true, they may then be said to have exactly the same reference. But since those singular terms pick out the object of reference differently (i.e., under different senses or modes of presentation), therefore the cognitive value of these statements also varies significantly. On this account, then, the reference of a non-vacuous proper name is secured by the name’s sense, or mode of presentation, which constitutes its semantic content. And given that Fregeans (here under the influence of Russell) cash out that sense as consisting in whatever concept (or cluster of concepts) could be uniquely associated with that name, they might hold, for example, that the property of being the author of Huckleberry Finn, and that of being an American who lived his early life in Hannibal, Missouri, and later became a famous writer, amount to the senses of ‘Mark Twain,’ and ‘Samuel Clemens,’ respectively.. (shrink)
Evolutionary theory has recently been applied to language. The aim of this paper is to contribute to such an evolutionary approach to language. I argue that Kripke’s causal account of proper names, in terms of natural selection, captures the norm of uses of a proper name, which is to refer to the same object as past others’ uses in a linguistic community. My argument appeals to Millikan’s theory of direct proper functions, which captures the norms of various functional entities in (...) terms of natural selection. (shrink)
The essay adopts the Tractarian view that configurations of objects are expressed by configurations of names. Two alternatives are considered: The objects in atomic facts are (1) without exception particulars; (2) one or more particulars plus a universal (Gustav Bergmann). On (1) a mode of configuration is always an empirical relation: on (2) it is the logical nexus of 'exemplification.' It is argued that (1) is both Wittgenstein's view in the Tractatus and correct. It is also argued that exemplification is (...) a 'quasi-semantical' relation, and that it (and universals) are "in the world" only in that broad sense in which the 'world' includes linguistic norms and roles viewed (thus in translating) from the standpoint of a fellow participant. (shrink)
odel’s incompleteness results apply to formal theories for which syntactic constructs can be given names, in the same language, so that some basic syntactic operations are representable in the theory. It is now customary to derive these results from the ﬁxed point theorem (also known as the reﬂection theorem), which asserts the existence of sentences that “speak about themselves”. Let T be the theory and, for each wﬀ φ, let pφq be the term that serves as its name. Then the (...) theorem says that, for any wﬀ α(v) (with one free variable), there exists a sentence β for which: T ` β ↔ α(pβq) β is sometimes called the ﬁxed point of α(v). All that is needed for the ﬁxed point theorem is.. (shrink)
Standard lore has it that a proper name is a temporally rigid designator. It picks out the same entity at every time at which it picks out an entity at all. If the entity in question is an enduring continuant then we know what this means, though we are also stuck with a host of metaphysical puzzles concerning endurance itself. If the entity in question is a perdurant then the rigidity claim is trivial, though one is left wondering how it (...) is that different speakers ever manage to pick out one and the same entity when a host of suitable, overlapping candidates are available. But what if the entity in question is neither a continuant nor a perdurant? What if the things we talk about in ordinary language are time-bound entities that cannot truly be said to persist through time, or stage sequences whose unity resides exclusively in our minds--like the “waves” at the stadium or the characters of a cartoon? In such cases the rigidity claim can’t be right and a counterpart-theoretic semantics seems required. Is that bad? I say it isn’t. And it had better not be, if that turns out to be the best metaphysical option we have. (shrink)
I defend a cluster of views about names from fiction and myth. The views are based on two claims: first, proper names refer directly totheir bearers; and second, names from fiction and myth are genuinely empty, they simply do not refer. I argue that when such names are used in direct discourse, utterances containing them have truth values but do not express propositions. I also argue that it is a mistake to think that if an utterance of, for example, “Vulcan (...) is a planet” fails to express a proposition, then an utterance of “Le Verrier believed that Vulcan is a planet” cannot express a proposition. The argument applies to claims about fiction, such as “Sherlock Holmes is strong,” and claims about the attitudes of authors and auditors. The upshot is a semantics for fictional statements that provides a satisfying way for direct reference theorists to avoid taking fictional entities to be abstract objects and to accept the commonsense view that what is true in a fiction is ultimately a matter of what is pretended to be the case. (shrink)
This paper challenges the view of several interpreters of Xunzi regarding the status of names, ming. I will maintain that Xunzi's view is consistent with the activity we see not only in his own efforts to influence language, but those of Confucius as well. Based on a reconsideration of translations and interpretations of key passages, I will argue that names are regarded neither as mere labels nor as indicating a privileged taxonomy of the myriad phenomena. Rather, Xunzi conceives them as (...) constructs designed to facilitate social goals. Finally, I will suggest an alternative to overly simplistic understandings of how appropriate names are fashioned and of who is responsible for their form. (shrink)
The thesis of this paper is that the Tractatus and the Investigations can be related as follows. Wittgenstein attempted in the Tractatus to avoid the conceptual realism of Frege and Russell with respect to propositions. He solved his problem by developing the picture-theory of language. This solution assumed that the units of language are words which arc names of simple objects. Because of this assumption the solution has the undesirable consequence that examples oi genuine names, atomic facts and atomic propositions (...) cannot be given although their existence is logically required by the solution. Wittgenstein had, therefore, eventually to examine the idea of a name. Thus the Philosophical Investigations in which this examination is conducted. (shrink)
In this paper we suggest adding to predicate modal and temporal logic a locality predicate W which gives names to worlds (or time points). We also study an equal time predicate D(x, y)which states that two time points are at the same distance from the root. We provide the systems studied with complete axiomatizations and illustrate the expressive power gained for modal logic by simulating other logics. The completeness proofs rely on the fairly intuitive notion of a configuration in order (...) to use a proof technique similar to a Henkin completion mixed with a tableau construction. The main elements of the completeness proofs are given for each case, while purely technical results are grouped in the appendix. (shrink)
It is generally thought that <span class='Hi'>Searle</span>'s cluster theory of the sense of a proper name was soundly refuted by Kripke in Naming and Necessity. This paper challenges this widespread belief and argues that the observations made by Kripke do not show that <span class='Hi'>Searle</span>'s version of descriptivism is false. Indeed, charitably interpreted, <span class='Hi'>Searle</span>'s theory retains considerable plausibility.
By spotlighting the irreducible role of cognitive processes between biology and culture, this synthesis and critique of the universalist tradition in colour science offers a genuine starting-point for all future 'serious inquiry into the relationship between linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of colour classification'.
This article shows that the duality of work (entity/image) and title that for the most part constitutes our experiences of paintings today is sustained and occurs out of a performative event, a certain physicality and rhythm that mark the finitude of visible-intelligible presence. These enactments of finitude figure a certain concealment, and therefore a loss, operative in the presence of work and title. The discussion ultimately indicates physicality, finitude, and loss in painting and provides insight concerning the question of language (...) by inviting a broader understanding of it in the light of these same issues. (shrink)
In this article I argue against Chad Hansen’s version of the “White Horse Dialogue” (Baimalun) of Gongsun Longzi as intelligible through writings of the later Moists. Hansen regards the Baimalun as an attempt to demonstrate how the compound baima, “white horse,” is correctly analyzed in one of the Moist ways of analyzing compound term semantics but not the other. I present an alternative reading in which the Baimalun arguments point out, via reductio, the failure of either Moist analysis; in particular (...) they point out how neither analysis accounts for ordinary, acceptable inferences like “There is a white horse; therefore there is a horse.” At issue for Gongsun Longzi is a fundamental problem with atomic terms: none of them seems capable of referring to a particular, “stand-alone” individual. (shrink)
The theory of lexical selection presented by Levelt, Roelofs & Meyer addresses the mechanisms of semantic activation that lead to the selection of isolated words. The theory does not appear to extend naturally to the referential use of words (particularly pronouns) in coherent discourse. A more complete theory of lexical selection has to consider the semantics of discourse as well as lexical semantics.