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  1. A Defense of Millian Descriptivism.Philip Atkins - 2013 - Dissertation, University of California at Santa Barbara
    Taken together with other plausible theses, Millianism has the counterintuitive consequence that the following belief reports have the same semantic content. (1a) Lois Lane believes that Superman flies. (1b) Lois Lane believes that Clark Kent flies. It has been popular, at least since the publication of Salmon's Frege's Puzzle (1986), to explain the presence of anti-Millian intuitions in terms of pragmatic phenomena. According to Salmon's account, (1a) and (1b) can be used to communicate distinct propositions, and this leads to the (...)
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  2. What's in a Name.Kent Bach - 1981 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):371 – 386.
  3. The Logic of Opacity.Andrew Bacon & Jeffrey Sanford Russell - forthcoming - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research.
    We explore the view that Frege's puzzle is a source of straightforward counterexamples to Leibniz's law. Taking this seriously requires us to revise the classical logic of quantifiers and identity; we work out the options, in the context of higher-order logic. The logics we arrive at provide the resources for a straightforward semantics of attitude reports that is consistent with the Millian thesis that the meaning of a name is just the thing it stands for. We provide models to show (...)
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  4. One Dogma of Millianism.Derek Ball & Bryan Pickel - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):70-92.
    Millians about proper names typically claim that it is knowable apriori that Hesperus is Phosphorus. We argue that they should claim instead that it is knowable only aposteriori that Hesperus is Hesperus, since the Kripke-Putnam epistemic arguments against descriptivism are special cases of Quinean arguments that nothing is knowable apriori, and Millians have no resources to resist the more general Quinean arguments.
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  5. One Dogma of Millianism.Derek Ball & Bryan Pickel - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):70-92.
    Millians about proper names typically claim that it is knowable apriori that Hesperus is Phosphorus. We argue that they should claim instead that it is knowable only aposteriori that Hesperus is Hesperus, since the Kripke-Putnam epistemic arguments against descriptivism are special cases of Quinean arguments that nothing is knowable apriori, and Millians have no resources to resist the more general Quinean arguments.
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  6. A Pragmatic Defense of Millianism.Arvid Båve - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (2):271 - 289.
    A new kind of defense of the Millian theory of names is given, which explains intuitive counter-examples as depending on pragmatic effects of the relevant sentences, by direct application of Grice’s and Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory and uncontroversial assumptions. I begin by arguing that synonyms are always intersubstitutable, despite Mates’ considerations, and then apply the method to names. Then, a fairly large sample of cases concerning names are dealt with in related ways. It is argued that the method, as (...)
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  7. An Inconsistency in Direct Reference Theory.George Bealer - 2004 - Journal of Philosophy 101 (11):574 - 593.
    Direct reference theory faces serious prima facie counterexamples which must be explained away (e.g., that it is possible to know a priori that Hesperus = Phosphorus). This is done by means of various forms of pragmatic explanation. But when those explanations that provisionally succeed are generalized to deal with analogous prima facie counterexamples concerning the identity of propositions, a fatal dilemma results. Either identity must be treated as a four-place relation (contradicting what just about everyone, including direct reference theorists, takes (...)
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  8. On the Persistence and Re-Expression of Indexical Belief.João Branquinho - 2008 - Manuscrito 31 (2).
    This paper is devoted to an examination of issues concerning the persistence and linguistic re-expression of indexical singular belief. I discuss two approaches to the topic: the directly referential approach, which I take as best represented in Kaplan's views, and the neo-Fregean approach, which I take as best represented in Gareth Evans's views. The upshot of my discussion is twofold. On the one hand, I argue that both Kaplan's account and Evans's account are on the whole defective. On the other, (...)
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  9. On the Persistence of Indexical Belief.João Branquinho - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39:21-30.
    This paper is devoted to an examination of the topic of cognitive dynamics as introduced by David Kaplan in his essay ‘Demonstratives’. I discuss two approaches to cognitive dynamics: the directly referential approach, which I take as best represented in Kaplan’s views, and the neo-Fregean approach, which I take as best represented in Gareth Evans’s views. The upshot of my discussion is twofold. On the one hand, I argue that both Kaplan’s account and Evans’s account are on the whole defective (...)
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  10. Kripke's Revenge. [REVIEW]David Braun & Theodore Sider - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 128 (3):669 - 682.
    Millianism says that the semantic content of a name (or indexical) is simply its referent. This thesis arises within a general, powerful research program, the propositionalist approach to semantics, which sets as a goal for philosophical semantics an assignment of entities – semantic contents – to bits of language, culminating in the assignment of propositions to sentences. Communication, linguistic competence, truth conditions, and other semantic phenomena are ultimately explained in terms of semantic contents.
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  11. Terminating Ambiguity: The Perplexing Case of 'The'.Richard Brown - 2009 - In Richard Brown Kevin S. Decker (ed.), Terminator and Philosophy: I'll Be Back, Therefore I Am.
    Maybe they should never have called the first movie The Terminator. After all, there’s more than one Terminator. That may seem like a picky point, but, believe it or not, philosophers have long been obsessed with trying to determine the meaning of the word “the.†Indeed, much controversy swirls around this seemingly innocuous definite article. Specifically, the controversy focuses on whether or not definite descriptions are ambiguous.
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  12. Names, Descriptions, and Assertion.Ray Buchanan - 2014 - In Zsu-Wei Hung (ed.), Communicative Action. Springer. pp. 03-15.
    According to Millian Descriptivism, while the semantic content of a linguistically simple proper name is just its referent, we often use sentences containing such expressions “to make assertions…that are, in part, descriptive” (Soames 2008). Against this view, I show, following Ted Sider and David Braun (2006), that simple sentences containing names are never used to assert descriptively enriched propositions. In addition, I offer a diagnosis as to where the argument for Millian Descriptivism goes wrong. Once we appreciate the distinctive way (...)
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  13. Metalinguistic Descriptivism for Millians.Alexis Burgess - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):443-457.
    Metalinguistic descriptivism is the view that proper names are semantically equivalent to descriptions featuring their own quotations (e.g., ?Socrates? means ?the bearer of ?Socrates??). The present paper shows that Millians can actually accept an inferential version of this equivalence thesis without running afoul of the modal argument. Indeed, they should: for it preserves the explanatory virtues of more familiar forms of descriptivism while avoiding objections (old and new) to Kent Bach's nominal description theory. We can make significant progress on Frege's (...)
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  14. The Hesperus and Phosphorus Puzzle.James D. Carney - 1980 - Mind 89 (356):577-581.
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  15. Pure Russellianism.Sean Crawford - 2004 - Philosophical Papers 33 (2):171-202.
    Abstract According to Russellianism, the content of a Russellian thought, in which a person ascribes a monadic property to an object, can be represented as an ordered couple of the object and the property. A consequence of this is that it is not possible for a person to believe that a is F and not to believe b is F, when a=b. Many critics of Russellianism suppose that this is possible and thus that Russellianism is false. Several arguments for this (...)
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  16. A Solution for Russellians to a Puzzle About Belief.Sean Crawford - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):223-29.
  17. Variabilism.Samuel 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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  18. Gareth Evans on Proper Names.Erhan Demircioglu - 2014 - Felsefe Tartismalari 50:1-9.
    The central aim of this paper is to argue against Evans’ hybrid theory of reference. I will show that Evans’ theory makes false predictions in the case of some thought-experiments. The paper has two sections. After providing a short presentation of Evans’ theory in the first section, I will move on to criticize it in the second section.
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  19. 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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  20. Names and the 'de Re — de Dicto' Distinction.G. W. Fitch - 1981 - Philosophical Studies 39 (1):25 - 34.
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  21. Chalmers on the Objects of Credence.Jesse Fitts - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (2):343-358.
    Chalmers (Mind 120(479): 587–636, 2011a) presents an argument against “referentialism” (and for his own view) that employs Bayesianism. He aims to make progress in a debate over the objects of belief, which seems to be at a standstill between referentialists and non-referentialists. Chalmers’ argument, in sketch, is that Bayesianism is incompatible with referentialism, and natural attempts to salvage the theory, Chalmers contends, requires giving up referentialism. Given the power and success of Bayesianism, the incompatibility is prima facie evidence against referentialism. (...)
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  22. A Test for Theories of Belief Ascription.B. Frances - 2002 - Analysis 62 (2):116-125.
    These days the two most popular approaches to belief ascription are Millianism and Contextualism. The former approach is inconsistent with the existence of ordinary Frege cases, such as Lois believing that Superman flies while failing to believe that Clark Kent flies. The Millian holds that the only truth-conditionally relevant aspect of a proper name is its referent or extension. Contextualism, as I will define it for the purposes of this essay, includes all theories according to which ascriptions of the form (...)
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  23. “Please Explain What a Rigid Designator Is”.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    This is an essay written for undergraduates who are confused about what a rigid designator is.
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  24. Disquotation and Substitutivity.Bryan Frances - 2000 - Mind 109 (435):519-25.
    Millianism is reasonable; that is, it is reasonable to think that all there is to the semantic value of a proper name is its referent. But Millianism appears to be undermined by the falsehood of Substitutivity, the principle that interchanging coreferential proper names in an intentional context cannot change the truth value of the resulting belief report. Mary might be perfectly rational in assenting to ‘Twain was a great writer’ as well as ‘Clemens was not a great writer’. Her confusion (...)
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  25. Defending the Defense.Bryan Frances - 1999 - Mind 108 (431):563-566.
    My hunch has always been that in the end, Fregeanism will defeat Millianism. So I suspect that my (1998) arguments on behalf of Millianism are flawed. Peter Graham (1999) is confident he has found the flaws, but he has not. I hope that some clarification will encourage others to reveal the errors.
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  26. Contradictory Belief and Epistemic Closure Principles.Bryan Frances - 1999 - Mind and Language 14 (2):203–226.
    Kripke’s puzzle has puts pressure on the intuitive idea that one can believe that Superman can fly without believing that Clark Kent can fly. If this idea is wrong then many theories of belief and belief ascription are built from faulty data. I argue that part of the proper analysis of Kripke’s puzzle refutes the closure principles that show up in many important arguments in epistemology, e.g., if S is rational and knows that P and that P entails Q, then (...)
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  27. Defending Millian Theories.Bryan Frances - 1998 - Mind 107 (428):703-728.
    In this article I offer a three-pronged defense of Millian theories, all of which share the rough idea that all there is to a proper name is its referent, so it has no additional sense. I first give what I believe to be the first correct analysis of Kripke’s puzzle and its anti-Fregean lessons. The main lesson is that the Fregean’s arguments against Millianism and for the existence of semantically relevant senses (that is, individuative elements of propositions or belief contents (...)
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  28. Arguing for Frege's Fundamental Principle.Bryan Frances - 1998 - Mind and Language 13 (3):341–346.
    Saul Kripke's puzzle about belief demonstrates the lack of soundness of the traditional argument for the Fregean fundamental principle that the sentences 'S believes that a is F' and 'S believes that b is F' can differ in truth value even if a = b. This principle is a crucial premise in the traditional Fregean argument for the existence of semantically relevant senses, individuative elements of beliefs that are sensitive to our varying conceptions of what the beliefs are about. Joseph (...)
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  29. The Mill-Frege Theory of Proper Names.Manuel García-Carpintero - forthcoming - Mind:fzx010.
    This paper argues for a version of metalinguistic descriptivism, the Mill-Frege view, comparing it to a currently popular alternative, predicativism. The Mill-Frege view combines tenets of Fregean views with features of the theory of direct reference. According to it, proper names have metalinguistic senses, known by competent speakers on the basis of their competence, which figure in ancillary presuppositions. In support of the view the paper argues that the name-bearing relation—which predicativists cite to account for the properties that they take (...)
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  30. Fregean Sense and the Proper Function of Assertion.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2000 - Theoria 15 (2):303-316.
    On behalf of Millian views on the meaning of proper names, Mark Textor offers in 'Knowledge Transmission and Linguistic Sense' a suggestive critical discussion of an argument for Fregean views due to Richard Heck (1995). IWhat exactly Heck's argument is, however, is not very clear, as witnessed by Byrne & Thau's (1996) efforts at reconstructing it and Heck's (1996) reply to which is not terribly illuminating. After presenting a form of a Fregean view and a Heckian argument for it, the (...)
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  31. Philosophy of Language and Webs of Information.Heimir Geirsson - 2012 - Routledge.
    Introduction and overview -- Reference -- Propositions: structure and objects -- Reporting attitudes -- Singular propositions and acquaintance -- Beliefs and belief reports -- Empty names -- Attitude contexts: beliefs and justification.
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  32. Partial Propositions and Cognitive Content.Heimir Geirsson - 1996 - Journal of Philosophical Research 21:117-128.
    Recently there has been a surge of new Fregeans who claim that the direct designation theory, as understood by contemporary Russellians, does not, and cannot, account for the different cognitive significance of statements containing different but codesignative names or indexicals. Instead, they say we must use a fine grained notion of propositions; one which builds a mode of presentation into proposition in addition to including in them the object referred to by the name or indexical in the sentence expressing the (...)
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  33. 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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  34. Defending Millianism.Peter J. Graham - 1999 - Mind 108 (431):555-561.
    Millianism is the view that all there is to the meaning of a name is its bearer. In a recent paper Bryan Frances seeks to undercut the traditional argument against Millianism as well as offer a new argument in favor of Millianism. I argue that both endeavors fail.
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  35. Direct Reference Empty Names and Implicature.Mitchell S. Green - 2007 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (3):419-37.
    Angle Grinder Man removes wheel locks from cars in London.1 He is something of a folk hero, saving drivers from enormous parking and towing fi nes, and has succeeded thus far in eluding the authorities. In spite of his cape and lamé tights, he is no fi ction; he’s a real person. By contrast, Pegasus, Zeus and the like are fi ctions. None of them is real. In fact, not only is each of them different from the others, all differ (...)
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  36. Russellians Can Have a No Proposition View of Empty Names.Thomas William Strickland Hodgson - forthcoming - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-22.
    Russellians can have a no proposition view of empty names. I will defend this theory against the problem of meaningfulness, and show that the theory is in general well motivated. My solution to the problem of meaningfulness is that speakers’ judgements about meaningfulness are tracking grammaticality, and not propositional content.
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  37. The Structure of Content is Not Transparent.Thomas William Strickland Hodgson - forthcoming - Topoi:1-13.
    Sentences in context have semantic contents determined by a range of factors both internal and external to speakers. I argue against the thesis that semantic content is transparent to speakers in the sense of being immediately accessible to speakers in virtue of their linguistic competence.
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  38. Unanswerable Questions for Millians.Ilhan Inan - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (2):279-283.
    I argue that Millianism has the very odd consequence that there are simple direct questions that Millians can grasp, but they cannot answer them in the positive or the negative, or in some other way, nor could they say that they do not know the answer.
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  39. Terminator and Philosophy: I'll Be Back, Therefore I Am.William Irwin, Richard Brown & Kevin S. Decker (eds.) - 2009 - Wiley.
    A timely book that uses science fiction to provoke reflection and discussion on philosophical issues From the nature of mind to the ethics of AI and neural enhancement, science fiction thought experiments fire the philosophical imagination, encouraging us to think outside of the box about classic philosophical problems and even to envision new ones. Science Fiction and Philosophy explores puzzles about virtual reality, transhumanism, whether time travel is possible, the nature of artificial intelligence, and topics in neuroethics, among other timely (...)
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  40. Donnellan on Neptune.Robin Jeshion - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):111-135.
    Donnellan famously argued that while one can fix the reference of a name with a definite description, one cannot thereby have a de re belief about the named object. All that is generated is meta-linguistic knowledge that the sentence “If there is a unique F, then N is F” is true. Donnellan’s argument and the sceptical position are extremely influential. This article aims to show that Donnellan’s argument is unsound, and that the Millian who embraces Donnellan’s scepticism that the reference-fixer (...)
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  41. Mill-Frege Compatibalism.John Justice - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Research 27:567-576.
    It is generally accepted that Mill’s classification of names as nonconnotative terms is incompatible with Frege’s thesis that names have senses. However, Milldescribed the senses of nonconnotative terms—without being aware that he was doing so. These are the senses for names that were sought in vain by Frege. When Mill’s and Frege’s doctrines are understood as complementary, they constitute a fully satisfactory theory of names.
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  42. The End of Millianism: Multiple Bearers, Improper Names, and Compositional Meaning.Jerrold J. Katz - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (3):137-166.
  43. 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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  44. The Question of Rigidity in New Theories of Reference.Genoveva Marti - 2003 - Noûs 37 (1):161 - 179.
    In the semantic revolution that has led many philosophers of language away from Fregeanism and towards the acceptance of direct reference, the notion of rigidity introduced by Saul Kripke in Naming and Necessity has played a crucial role. The notions of rigidity and direct reference are indeed different, but proponents of new theories of reference agree that there is a one way connection between them: although not all rigid terms are directly referential (witness rigid definite descriptions), all directly referential terms (...)
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  45. The Essence of Genuine Reference.Genoveva Martí - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 24 (3):275-289.
    We have witnessed a fundamental change of perspective in the conception of reference. What the proponents of the new approach criticized and what they proposed to abandon is relatively clear; it is much less clear though what is at the heart of the philosophy that inspired the change. The proponents of the new approach all agreed in disagreeing with Frege: natural languages may, and in fact do, contain expressions that refer without the mediation of a Fregean sense. The core motto (...)
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  46. Necessary a Posteriori Identity Truths: Fregeanism Beats Direct Reference Theory.Ari Maunu - forthcoming - Axiomathes.
    I argue that Fregeanism with respect to proper names—the view that modes of presentation are relevant to the contents of proper names—is able to account for the thesis that there are necessarily true a posteriori identity propositions such as the one expressed in ‘‘Hesperus is identical with Phosphorus’’, whereas the Direct Reference Theory—according to which the semantic function of certain expressions, e.g., proper names, is only to pick out an object (referent)—is able to deal with only their necessary truth. Thus, (...)
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  47. A Problem with De Re Belief Ascriptions, with a Consequence to Substitutivity.Ari Maunu - 2002 - Philosophia 29 (1-4):411-421.
    It is shown that the coherence of de re belief ascriptions is doubtful in view of certain plausible principles. Subsequently, it is argued, the standard argument against substitutivity in de dicto ascriptions loses some of its power. Also, some possible reactions to these results are considered.
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  48. Natural Kind Terms Are Similar to Proper Names in Being World-Independent.Ari Maunu - 2002 - Philosophical Writings 19:51-68.
    According to the New Theory of Reference, proper names (and indexicals) and natural kind terms are semantically similar to each other but crucially different from definite descriptions and “ordinary” predicates, respectively. New Theorists say that a name, unlike a definite description, is a directly referential nondescriptional rigid designator, which refers “without a mediation of the content” and is not functional (i.e. lacks a Carnapian intension). Natural kind terms, such as ‘horse’ and ‘water’, are held to have similar distinctions, in contrast (...)
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  49. Understanding Kripke's Puzzles About Belief.Michael McGlone - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (3):487-514.
    In his famous 1979 article 'A Puzzle About Belief' Saul Kripke presents two puzzles regarding belief attribution, and he uses them to cast doubt on classical substitution arguments against the Millian view that a proper name has a 'denotation' (or reference) but no 'connotation' (or sense). In this article, I present Kripke's puzzles in what I take to be their most revealing form, discuss their relevance to the abovementioned arguments, briefly survey the ways in which philosophers have responded to these (...)
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  50. "Truths Containing Empty Names".Michael McKinsey - 2016 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk & Luis Fernandez Moreno (eds.), Philosophical Approaches to Proper Names. Peter Lang. pp. 175-202.
    Abstract. On the Direct Reference thesis, proper names are what I call ‘genuine terms’, terms whose sole semantic contributions to the propositions expressed by their use are the terms’ semantic referents. But unless qualified, this thesis implies the false consequence that sentences containing names that fail to refer can never express true or false propositions. (Consider ‘The ancient Greeks worshipped Zeus’, for instance.) I suggest that while names are typically and fundamentally used as genuine terms, there is a small class (...)
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