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  1. added 2020-03-27
    Quinean Predicativism.Michael Rieppel - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    In Word and Object, Quine proposed that names be treated as the predicate elements of covert descriptions, expressing the property of being identical to the named individual. More recently, many theorists have proposed a predicativist view according which a referential name expresses the property of being called by that name. Whereas this Being-Called Predicativism has received much attention in the recent literature, Quinean Predicativism has not. This neglect is undeserved. In this paper, I argue, first, that close appositive constructions suggest (...)
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  2. added 2020-01-14
    Has the Description Theory of Names Been Refuted.Jerrold J. Katz - 1990 - In George S. Boolos (ed.), Meaning and Method: Essays in Honor of Hilary Putnam. Cambridge University Press. pp. 31--61.
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  3. added 2019-12-30
    Against Salmon: Saving Conceptual Theories / Contra Salmon: Salvando as Teorias Conceituais.Rodrigo Cid - 2011 - Itaca 18:133-148.
    In this paper I intend to expose some of Nathan Salmon's arguments, which aim to show that the conceptual theories of the informational value of singular terms cannot be the case, and to present some objections to these arguments, objections which seek to restore the capacity of the conceptual theories to secure the referent, and to have a concept as the informational value of a singular term. I fulfill such goal by making an initial introduction, where I briefly explain Frege's (...)
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  4. added 2019-12-12
    Roads to Reference. An Essay on Reference Fixing in Natural Language.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2019 - Oxford, Reino Unido: Oxford University Press.
    How is it that words come to stand for the things they stand for? Is the thing that a word stands for - its reference - fully identified or described by conventions known to the users of the word? Or is there a more roundabout relation between the reference of a word and the conventions that determine or fix it? Do words like 'water', 'three', and 'red' refer to appropriate things, just as the word 'Aristotle' refers to Aristotle? If so, (...)
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  5. added 2019-08-20
    Essentialist Plenitude and the Semantics of Proper Names.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Metaphysics 2 (1):16-25.
    A number of prominent metaphysicians have recently defended a set of ideas which I will call ‘essentialist plenitude.’ Very roughly, and to a first approximation, essentialist plenitude says that wherever there is an object with properties P1, …, Pn there is in fact a plenitude of coincident objects that differ only in the distribution of essentiality and accidentality across P1, …, Pn (§1). The main purpose of this paper is to arouse the suspicion that essentialist plenitude may have far-reaching consequences (...)
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  6. added 2019-08-15
    Proper Names and Intentionality.John Rogers Searle - 1982 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 63 (3):205-225.
    The purpose of this article is to explain how an account of proper names can be incorporated into a general account of the intentionality of mind and language. I show that such an account supports the so-Called descriptivist conception of proper names and in so doing I answer the objections of causal theorists.
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  7. added 2019-07-15
    Termos Singulares Indefinidos: Frege, Russell e a tradição matemática.Daniel Durante Pereira Alves - 2016 - Saberes: Filosofia E Educação (Filosofia Lógica e Metafísica An):33-53.
    É bem conhecida a divergência entre as posições de Gottlob Frege e Bertrand Russell com relação ao tratamento semântico dado a sentenças contendo termos singulares indefinidos, ou seja, termos singulares sem referência ou com referência ambígua, tais como ‘Papai Noel’ ou ‘o atual rei da França’ ou ‘1/0 ’ ou ‘√4’ ou ‘o autor de Principia Mathematica’. Para Frege, as sentenças da linguagem natural que contêm termos indefinidos não formam declarações e portanto não são nem verdadeiras nem falsas. Já para (...)
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  8. added 2019-06-06
    Actually‐Rigidified Descriptivism Revisited.Jesper Kallestrup - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (1):5-21.
    In response to Kripke's modal argument contemporary descriptivists suggest that referring terms, e.g., ‘water’, are synonymous with actually‐rigidified definite descriptions, e.g., ‘the actual watery stuff’. Following Scott Soames, this strategy has the counterintuitive consequence that possible speakers on Perfect Earth cannot be ascribed water‐beliefs without beliefs about the actual world. Co‐indexing the actuality and possibility operators has the equally untoward result that possible speakers on Twin Earth are ascribed water‐beliefs. So, Soames's dilemma is that the descriptivist can account for either (...)
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  9. added 2018-11-15
    On the Very Idea of Metalinguistic Theories of Names.Aidan Gray - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    Metalinguistic approaches to names hold that proper names are semantically associated with name-bearing properties. I argue that metalinguistic theorists owe us an account of the metaphysics of those properties. The unique structure of the debate about names gives an issue which might look to be narrowly linguistic an important metaphysical dimension. The only plausible account of name-bearing treats name-bearing properties as a species of response-dependent property. I outline how such an account should look, drawing on forms of response-dependence identified in (...)
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  10. added 2018-06-12
    The Hybrid Theory of Reference for Proper Names.Filip Kawczynski - 2010 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), Objects of Inquiry in Philosophy of Language and Linguistics. Frankfurt, Germany: Ontos Verlag. pp. 137-150.
    In this paper, I present main ideas of the Hybrid Theory of Reference for Proper Names. First, I try to define the ​position of the Hybrid Theory within the discussion about reference. Then I briefly explain most significant aspects of the theory as they were defined by Gareth Evans. Apart from that, I also offer some additions to the theory. The addition, I spend most space on concerns phrases that I call “mock names” which are expressions that look like proper (...)
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  11. added 2017-06-20
    Lexical-Rule Predicativism About Names.Aidan Gray - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5549-5569.
    Predicativists hold that proper names have predicate-type semantic values. They face an obvious challenge: in many languages names normally occur as, what appear to be, grammatical arguments. The standard version of predicativism answers this challenge by positing an unpronounced determiner in bare occurrences. I argue that this is a mistake. Predicativists should draw a distinction between two kinds of semantic type—underived semantic type and derived semantic type. The predicativist thesis concerns the underived semantic type of proper names and underdetermines a (...)
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  12. added 2017-05-01
    Names in Strange Places.Aidan Gray - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (5):429-472.
    This paper is about how to interpret and evaluate purported evidence for predicativism about proper names. I aim to point out some underappreciated thorny issues and to offer both predicativists and non-predicativists some advice about how best to pursue their respective projects. I hope to establish three related claims: that non-predicativists have to posit relatively exotic, though not entirely implausible, polysemic mechanisms to capture the range of data that predicativists have introduced ; that neither referentialism nor extant versions of predicativism (...)
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  13. added 2017-02-08
    On Problems with Descriptivism: Psychological Assumptions and Empirical Evidence.Eduardo García-ramírez & Marilyn Shatz - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (1):53-77.
    We offer an empirical assessment of description theories of proper names. We examine empirical evidence on lexical and cognitive development, memory, and aphasia, to see whether it supports Descriptivism. We show that description theories demand much more, in terms of psychological assumptions, than what the data suggest; hence, they lack empirical support. We argue that this problem undermines their success as philosophical theories for proper names in natural languages. We conclude by presenting and defending a preliminary alternative account of reference (...)
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  14. added 2016-12-08
    The Epistemological Argument Against Descriptivism.Robin Jeshion - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):325 - 345.
    The epistemological argument against descriptivism about proper names is extremely simple. For a proper name ‘N’ and definite description ‘F’, the proposition expressed by “If N exists, then N is F” is not normally known a priori. But descriptivism about proper names entails otherwise. So descriptivism is false. The argument is widely regarded as sound. This paper aims to establish that the epistemological argument is highly unstable. The problem with the argument is that there seems to be no convincing rationale (...)
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  15. added 2016-12-07
    A Defense of Russellian Descriptivism.Brandt H. van der Gaast - unknown
    In this dissertation, I defend a Russellian form of descriptivism. The main supporting argument invokes a relation between meaning and thought. I argue that the meanings of sentences are the thoughts people use them to express. This is part of a Gricean outlook on meaning according to which psychological intentionality is prior to, and determinative of, linguistic intentionality. The right approach to thought, I argue in Chapter 1, is a type of functionalism on which thoughts have narrow contents. On this (...)
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  16. added 2016-08-02
    Un examen de los argumentos contra la teoría descriptiva de la referencia de los nombres propios.Luís Fernández Moreno - 2003 - Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 28 (1):77-106.
    This paper aims at examining the main arguments presented against the description theory of reference for proper names. It will especially focus on the arguments exposed by Kripke in Naming and Necessity, with the object of outlining a description theory which is not affected by such arguments.
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  17. added 2016-07-15
    Minimal Descriptivism.Aidan Gray - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):343-364.
    Call an account of names satisfactionalist if it holds that object o is the referent of name a in virtue of o’s satisfaction of a descriptive condition associated with a. Call an account of names minimally descriptivistif it holds that if a competent speaker finds ‘a=b’ to be informative, then she must associate some information with ‘a’ which she does not associate with ‘b’. The rejection of both positions is part of the Kripkean orthodoxy, and is also built into extant (...)
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  18. added 2016-03-03
    Are Names Ambiguous?Tim Kenyon - 2005 - ProtoSociology 21:148-159.
    It is widely held that proper names are ambiguous in some sense, a view commonly associated with the theory that names are, when suitably idealized, semantically “rigid designators”. In this brief paper I suggest that, while some refinement of the concept of a name is surely appropriate, proper names do not very clearly meet the standards normally used to determine ambiguity. There is reason to regard shared names as semantically univocal, including some evidence from development linguistics to regard a grasp (...)
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  19. added 2016-03-02
    Name-Bearing, Reference, and Circularity.Aidan Gray - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):207-231.
    Proponents of the predicate view of names explain the reference of an occurrence of a name N by invoking the property of bearing N. They avoid the charge that this view involves a vicious circularity by claiming that bearing N is not itself to be understood in terms of the reference of actual or possible occurrences of N. I argue that this approach is fundamentally mistaken. The phenomenon of ‘reference transfer’ shows that an individual can come to bear a name (...)
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  20. added 2016-02-07
    A Problem for Predicativism Not Solved by Predicativism.Anders J. Schoubye - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    In 'The Reference Book' (2012), Hawthorne and Manley observe the following contrast between (1) and (2): -/- (1) In every race John won. (2) In every race, the colt won. -/- The name 'John' in (1) must intuitively refer to the same single individual for each race. However, the description 'the colt' in (2) has a co-varying reading, i.e. a reading where for each race it refers to a different colt. This observation is a prima facie problem for proponents of (...)
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  21. added 2016-01-21
    Frege on Existence and Non‐Existence.Karen Green - 2015 - Theoria 81 (4):293-310.
    Despite its importance for early analytic philosophy, Gottlob Frege's account of existence statements, according to which they classify concepts, has been thought to succumb to a number of well-worn criticisms. This article does two things. First, it argues that, by remaining faithful to the letter of Frege's claim that concepts are functions, the Fregean account can be saved from many of the standard criticisms. Second, it examines the problem that Frege's account fails to generalize to cases which involve definite descriptions (...)
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  22. added 2015-12-26
    Names and Individuals.André Bazzoni - 2016 - In P. Stalmaszczyk & L. F. Moreno (eds.), Philosophical approaches to proper names. Peter Lang. pp. 123-146.
    The fact that names refer to individuals is a basic assumption of referentialist theories of proper names, but the notion of individual is systematically taken for granted in those theories. The present paper follows that basic assumption, but proposes to analyze the notion of individual prior to the development of any semantic theory of proper names. It will be argued that a particular perdurantist conception of individual should be adopted, which distinguishes the notions of individual occurrence, and individual simpliciter. A (...)
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  23. added 2015-12-22
    An Argument for Authorial Creation.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2015 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 22 (4):461–487.
    Artifactualism about fictional characters, positing Harry Potter as an abstract artifact created by J. K. Rowling, has been criticized on the grounds that the idea of creating such objects is mysterious and problematic. In the light of such qualms, it is worth homing in on an argument in favor of artifactualism, showing that it is the best way to include the likes of Harry Potter in our ontology precisely because it incorporates authorial creation. To that end, I will be exploring (...)
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  24. added 2015-12-13
    Frege and the Description Theory: An Attempt at Rehabilitation.Ari Maunu - 2015 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 92 (1):109-116.
    I question the received view that Frege advocates the description theory of proper names. First, I argue that the textual evidence for this view from Frege’s writings is not conclusive. Secondly, I propose that the Fregean Sinne (of proper names) may be understood nondescriptionally in terms of symbolhood. Finally, I suggest that in the notorious passages where Frege is apparently supporting the description theory he is just indicating the potential problems with communication with proper names.
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  25. added 2015-09-01
    Lexical Individuation and Predicativism About Names.Aidan Gray - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):113-123.
    Predicativism about names—the view that names are metalinguistic predicates—has yet to confront a foundational issue: how are names represented in the lexicon? I provide a positive characterization of the structure of the lexicon from the point of view Predicativism. I proceed to raise a problem for Predicativism on the basis of that characterization, focusing on cases in which individuals have names which are spelled the same way but pronounced differently. Finally, I introduce two potential strategies for solving the problem, and (...)
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  26. added 2015-06-20
    Causal Descriptivism.Frederick W. Kroon - 1987 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 65 (1):1 – 17.
  27. added 2014-06-12
    Descriptions Which Have Grown Capital Letters.Brian Rabern - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (3):292-319.
    Almost entirely ignored in the linguistic theorising on names and descriptions is a hybrid form of expression which, like definite descriptions, begin with 'the' but which, like proper names, are capitalised and seem to lack descriptive content. These are expressions such as the following, 'the Holy Roman Empire', 'the Mississippi River', or 'the Space Needle'. Such capitalised descriptions are ubiquitous in natural language, but to which linguistic categories do they belong? Are they simply proper names? Or are they definite descriptions (...)
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  28. added 2014-05-12
    Names Are Predicates.Delia Graff Fara - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):59-117.
    One reason to think that names have a predicate-type semantic value is that they naturally occur in count-noun positions: ‘The Michaels in my building both lost their keys’; ‘I know one incredibly sharp Cecil and one that's incredibly dull’. Predicativism is the view that names uniformly occur as predicates. Predicativism flies in the face of the widely accepted view that names in argument position are referential, whether that be Millian Referentialism, direct-reference theories, or even Fregean Descriptivism. But names are predicates (...)
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  29. added 2014-03-21
    Sameness and Difference of Sense.R. M. Sainsbury - 2004 - Philosophical Books 45 (3):209-217.
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  30. added 2014-03-19
    The End of Millianism: Multiple Bearers, Improper Names, and Compositional Meaning.Jerrold J. Katz - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (3):137-166.
  31. added 2014-03-14
    Descriptivism, Scope, and Apparently Empty Names.Andrew Cullison & Ben Caplan - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (2):283-288.
    Some descriptivists reply to the modal argument by appealing to scope ambiguities. In this paper, we argue that those replies don’t work in the case of apparently empty names like ‘Sherlock Holmes’.
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  32. added 2014-03-14
    Reference and Identifying Descriptions.Steven E. Boer - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (2):208-228.
  33. added 2014-03-14
    Presuppositions, Names, and Descriptions.Romane Clark - 1956 - Philosophical Quarterly 6 (23):145-154.
  34. added 2014-03-12
    Searle on Analyticity, Necessity, and Proper Names.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2012 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19 (2):109-136.
    My aim is to show that once we appreciate how Searle (1958) fills in the details of his account of proper names – which I will dub the presuppositional view – and how we might supplement it further, we are in for a twofold discovery. First, Searle’s account is crucially unlike the so-called cluster-of-descriptions view, which many philosophers take Searle to have held. Second, the presuppositional view he did hold is interesting, plausible, and worthy of serious reconsideration. The idea that (...)
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  35. added 2014-03-12
    Variabilism.Sam Cumming - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (4):525-554.
    Variabilism is the view that proper names (like pronouns) are semantically represented as variables. Referential names, like referential pronouns, are assigned their referents by a contextual variable assignment (Kaplan 1989). The reference parameter (like the world of evaluation) may also be shifted by operators in the representation language. Indeed verbs that create hyperintensional contexts, like ‘think’, are treated as operators that simultaneously shift the world and assignment parameters. By contrast, metaphysical modal operators shift the world of assessment only. Names, being (...)
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  36. added 2014-03-10
    Puzzles About Descriptive Names.Edward Kanterian - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (4):409-428.
    This article explores Gareth Evans’s idea that there are such things as descriptive names, i.e. referring expressions introduced by a definite description which have, unlike ordinary names, a descriptive content. Several ignored semantic and modal aspects of this idea are spelled out, including a hitherto little explored notion of rigidity, super-rigidity. The claim that descriptive names are (rigidified) descriptions, or abbreviations thereof, is rejected. It is then shown that Evans’s theory leads to certain puzzles concerning the referential status of descriptive (...)
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  37. added 2014-03-10
    Public Proper Names, Idiolectal Identifying Descriptions.Stavroula Glezakos - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (3):317-326.
    Direct reference theorists tell us that proper names have no semantic value other than their bearers, and that the connection between name and bearer is unmediated by descriptions or descriptive information. And yet, these theorists also acknowledge that we produce our name-containing utterances with descriptions on our minds. After arguing that direct reference proponents have failed to give descriptions their due, I show that appeal to speaker-associated descriptions is required if the direct reference portrayal of speakers wielding and referring with (...)
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  38. added 2014-03-09
    Millian Descriptivism.Frederick Kroon - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (4):553 – 576.
    Mill is a detractor of the view that proper names have meanings, defending in its place the view that names are nothing more than (meaningless) marks. Because of this, Mill is often regarded as someone who anticipated the theory of direct reference for names: the view that the only contribution a name makes to propositions expressed through its use is the name's referent. In this paper I argue that the association is unfair. With some gentle interpretation, Mill can be portrayed (...)
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  39. added 2012-10-06
    Reference Without Referents.Mark Sainsbury - 2005 - Clarendon Press.
    Reference is a central topic in philosophy of language, and has been the main focus of discussion about how language relates to the world. R. M. Sainsbury sets out a new approach to the concept, which promises to bring to an end some long-standing debates in semantic theory. Lucid and accessible, and written with a minimum of technicality, Sainsbury's book also includes a useful historical survey. It will be of interest to those working in logic, mind, and metaphysics as well (...)
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  40. added 2012-06-20
    Epistemic Two-Dimensionalism and Arguments From Epistemic Misclassification.Edward Elliott, Kelvin McQueen & Clas Weber - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):375-389.
    According to Epistemic Two-Dimensional Semantics (E2D), expressions have a counterfactual intension and an epistemic intension. Epistemic intensions reflect cognitive significance such that sentences with necessary epistemic intensions are a priori. We defend E2D against an influential line of criticism: arguments from epistemic misclassification. We focus in particular on the arguments of Speaks [2010] and Schroeter [2005]. Such arguments conclude that E2D is mistaken from (i) the claim that E2D is committed to classifying certain sentences as a priori, and (ii) the (...)
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  41. added 2012-03-05
    The Problem of Factives for Sense Theories.Graeme Forbes - 2011 - Analysis 71 (4):654-662.
    This paper discusses some recent responses to Kripke’s modal objections to descriptivism about names. One response, due to Gluer-Pagin and Pagin, involves employing "actually" operators in a new way. Another, developed mainly by Chalmers, involves distinguishing the dimension of meaning modal operators affect from the dimension other operators, especially epistemic ones, affect. I argue that both these moves run into problems with "mixed" contexts involving factive verbs such as "know", "establish", "prove", etc. In mixed contexts there are both modal and (...)
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  42. added 2012-02-24
    Descriptive Names and Shifty Characters: A Case for Tensed Rigidity.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    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. (...)
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  43. added 2011-12-17
    The Quasi-Verbal Dispute Between Kripke and 'Frege-Russell'.J. P. Smit - manuscript
    Traditional descriptivism and Kripkean causalism are standardly interpreted as rival theories on a single topic. I argue that there is no such shared topic, i.e. that there is no question that they can be interpreted as giving rival answers to. The only way to make sense of the commitment to epistemic transparency that characterizes traditional descriptivism is to interpret Russell and Frege as proposing rival accounts of how to characterize a subject’s beliefs about what names refer to. My argument relies (...)
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  44. added 2011-02-20
    Reflexivity, Indexicality and Names.John Perry - 1997 - In W. Künne, A. Newen & M. Anduschus (eds.), Direct Reference, Indexicality and Propositional Attitudes. CSLI Publications. pp. 3--19.
    It has been persuasively argued by David Kaplan and others that the proposition expressed by statements like (1) is a singular proposition, true in just those worlds in which a certain person, David Israel, is a computer scientist. Call this proposition P . The truth of this proposition does not require that the utterance (1) occur, or even that Israel has ever said anything at all. Marcus, Donnellan, Kripke and others have persuasively argued for a view of proper names that, (...)
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  45. added 2011-01-30
    Modality, Mood, and Descriptions.Kai F. Wehmeier - 2005 - In Reinhard Kahle (ed.), Intensionality: An Interdisciplinary Discussion. AK Peters.
    §1. Introduction. By means of what semantic features is a proper name tied to its bearer? This is a puzzling question indeed: proper names — like “Aristotle” or “Paris” — are syntactically simple, and it therefore does not seem possible to reduce their meanings, by means of a principle of compositionality, to the meanings of more basic, and hence perhaps more tractable, linguistic elements.
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  46. added 2010-12-01
    You Can Call Me 'Stupid', ... Just Don't Call Me Stupid.Delia Graff Fara - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):492-501.
    In this paper I argue that names are predicates when they occur in the appellation position of 'called'-predications. This includes not only proper names, but all names -- including quote-names of proper names and quote-names of other words or phrases. Thus in "You can call me Al", the proper name 'Al' is a predicate. And in "You can call me 'Al'," the quote-name of 'Al' -- namely ' 'Al' ' -- is also a predicate.
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  47. added 2010-11-06
    Natural Phenomenon Terms.Richard Gray - 2006 - Analysis 66 (2):141–148.
    In lecture III of Naming and Necessity, Kripke extends his claim that names are non-descriptive to natural kind terms, and in so doing includes a brief supporting discussion of terms for natural phenomena, in particular the terms ‘light’ and ‘heat’. Whilst natural kind terms continue to feature centrally in the recent literature, natural phenomenon terms have barely figured. The purpose of the present paper is to show how the apparent similarities between natural kind terms and the natural phenomenon terms on (...)
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  48. added 2010-11-03
    Socratizing.Delia Graff Fara - 2011 - American Philosophical Quarterlly 48 (3):229-238.
    In this paper I trace Quine's early development of his treatment of names, first as abbreviations for definite descriptions with "Frege-Rusell" style substantive content, then as abbreviations for definite descriptions containing simple predicative content, through to a treatment of names themselves as predicates rather than as abbreviations for this or that type of more complex expression. Along the way, I explain why—despite ubiquitous claims and suggestions to the contrary—Quine never actually uses the verbized name "Socratizes".
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  49. added 2010-05-10
    Plantinga’s Theory of Proper Names.David F. Austin - 1983 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 24 (1):115-132.
  50. added 2009-06-15
    Names Without Bearers.Jerrold J. Katz - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (1):1-39.
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