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Reference and Existence: The John Locke Lectures

Oxford University Press (2013)

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  1. 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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  • Immanence in Abundance.Chad Carmichael - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    In this paper, I develop a theory on which each of a thing’s abundant properties is immanent in that thing. On the version of the theory I will propose, universals are abundant, each instantiated universal is immanent, and each uninstantiated universal is such that it could have been instantiated, in which case it would have been immanent. After setting out the theory, I will defend it from David Lewis’s argument that such a combination of immanence and abundance is absurd. I (...)
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  • Foundational Grounding and the Argument From Contingency.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2017 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 8.
    The argument from contingency for the existence of God is best understood as a request for an explanation of the total sequence of causes and effects in the universe (‘History’ for short). Many puzzles about how there could be such an explanation arise from the assumption that God is being introduced as one more cause prepended to the sequence of causes that (allegedly) needed explaining. In response to this difficulty, this chapter defends three theses. First, it argues that, if the (...)
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  • Against the Precisificational Approach to Fictional Inconsistencies.Inchul Yum - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    Fictional realists claim that fictional characters like Spiderman really do exist. Against this view, Anthony Everett (2005; 2013) argues that fictional realists cannot determine whether characters α and β are identical if the relevant fiction states that α and β are identical and distinct at the same time. Some fictional realists, such as Ross Cameron (2013) and Richard Woodward (2017), respond to this objection by saying that the sense in which α and β are identical differs from the sense in (...)
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  • Models As Fictions, Fictions As Models.Gregory Currie - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):296-310.
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  • ‘Truth in Fiction’ Reprised.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (2):307-324.
    The paper surveys recent appraisals of David Lewis’s seminal paper on truth in fiction. It examines variations on standard criticisms of Lewis’s account, aiming to show that, if developed as Lewis suggests in his 1983 Postscript A, his proposals on the topic are—as Hanley puts it—‘as good as it gets’. Thus elaborated, Lewis’s account can resist the objections, and it offers a better picture of fictional discourse than recent resurrections of other classic works of the 1970s by Kripke, van Inwagen (...)
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  • A Referential Theory of Truth and Falsity.Ilhan Inan - 2022 - New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
    This book proposes a novel theory of truth and falsity. It argues that truth is a form of reference and falsity is a form of reference failure. -/- Most of the philosophical literature on truth concentrates on certain ontological and epistemic problems. This book focuses instead on language. By utilizing the Fregean idea that sentences are singular referring expressions, the author develops novel connections between the philosophical study of truth and falsity and the huge literature in in the philosophy of (...)
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  • Abstract Objects.Gideon Rosen - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Fiction.Fred Kroon - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Depiction.John Hyman & Katerina Bantinaki - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Natural Language Ontology (SEP Entry).Moltmann Friederike - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This is my entry on natural language ontology that is forthcoming in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Names.Sam Cumming - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Fiction Cannot Be True.László Kajtár - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (9):2167-2186.
    According to the dominant theory of intentionalism, fiction and non-fiction are in a “mix-and-match” relationship with truth and falsity: both fiction and nonfiction can be either true or false. Intentionalists hold that fiction is a property of a narrative that is intended to elicit not belief but imagination or make-belief in virtue of the audience’s recognizing that such is the intention of the fiction-maker. They claim that in unlikely circumstances these fictions can turn out to be accidentally true. On the (...)
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  • Fictional Characters and Their Discontents: Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics of Fictional Entities.Shamik Chakravarty - 2021 - Dissertation, Lingnan University
    In recent metaphysics, the questions of whether fictional entities exist, what their nature is, and how to explain truths of statements such as “Sherlock Holmes lives at 221B Baker Street” and “Holmes was created by Arthur Conan Doyle” have been subject to much debate. The main aim of my thesis is to wrestle with key proponents of the abstractionist view that fictional entities are abstract objects that exist (van Inwagen 1977, 2018, Thomasson 1999 and Salmon 1998) as well as Walton’s (...)
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  • Hyperintensionality and Normativity.Federico L. G. Faroldi - 2019 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.
    Presenting the first comprehensive, in-depth study of hyperintensionality, this book equips readers with the basic tools needed to appreciate some of current and future debates in the philosophy of language, semantics, and metaphysics. After introducing and explaining the major approaches to hyperintensionality found in the literature, the book tackles its systematic connections to normativity and offers some contributions to the current debates. The book offers undergraduate and graduate students an essential introduction to the topic, while also helping professionals in related (...)
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  • Objects and Modalities: A Study in the Semantics of Modal Logic.Tero Tulenheimo - 2017 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.
    This book develops a novel generalization of possible world semantics, called ‘world line semantics’, which recognizes worlds and links between world-bound objects (world lines) as mutually independent aspects of modal semantics. Addressing a wide range of questions vital for contemporary debates in logic and philosophy of language and offering new tools for theoretical linguistics and knowledge representation, the book proposes a radically new paradigm in modal semantics. This framework is motivated philosophically, viewing a structure of world lines as a precondition (...)
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  • Temas em filosofia contemporânea II.Becker Arenhart Jonas Rafael, Conte Jaimir & Mortari Cezar Augusto - 2016 - Florianópolis, SC, Brasil: NEL/UFSC - Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina.
    Sumário: 1. El caso del método científico, Alberto Oliva; 2. Un capítulo de la prehistoria de las ciencias humanas: la defensa por Vico de la tópica, Jorge Alberto Molina; 3. La figura de lo cognoscible y los mundos, Pablo Vélez León; 4. Lebenswelt de Husserl y las neurociencias, Vanessa Fontana; 5. El uso estético del concepto de mundos posibles, Jairo Dias Carvalho; 6. Realismo normativo no naturalista y mundos morales imposibles, Alcino Eduardo Bonella; 7. En la lógica de pragmatismo, Hércules (...)
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  • Files for Fiction.Eleonora Orlando - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (1):55-71.
    In this essay, I appeal to the mental file approach in order to give an anti-realist semantic analysis of statements containing fictional names. I claim that fictive and parafictive uses of them express conceptual, though not general, propositions constituted by mental files, anchored in the conceptual world of the corresponding fictional story. Moreover, by positing a referential shift determined by the presence of a simulative referential intention characteristic of those uses, it is possible to take them to be true with (...)
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  • Mental Files: Replies to My Critics.François Recanati - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (36):207-242.
    My responses to seven critical reviews of my book *Mental Files* published in a special issue of the journal Disputatio, edited by F. Salis. The reviewers are: Keith Hall, David Papineau, Annalisa Coliva and Delia Belleri, Peter Pagin, Thea Goodsell, Krista Lawlor and Manuel Garcia-Carpintero.
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  • Puzzling Pierre and Intentional Identity.Alexander Sandgren - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (4):861-875.
    This paper concerns Kripke’s puzzle about belief. I have two goals in this paper. The first is to argue that two leading approaches to Kripke’s puzzle, those of Lewis and Chalmers, are inadequate as they stand. Both approaches require the world to supply an object that the relevant intentional attitudes pick out. The problem is that there are cases which, I argue, exhibit the very same puzzling phenomenon in which the world does not supply an object in the required way. (...)
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  • In Defense of Donnellan on Proper Names.Antonio Capuano - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1289-1312.
    Kripke’s picture of how people use names to refer to things has been the dominant view in contemporary philosophy of language. When it is mentioned at all, Donnellan’s view of proper names is considered the same as Kripke’s. It is certainly true that both Donnellan and Kripke rejected descriptivism about proper names and appealed to historical facts to determine whom a speaker is referring to by using a proper name. However, the relevant historical facts Kripke and Donnellan appeal to are (...)
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  • Fictional Reference: How to Account for Both Directedness and Uniformity.Alberto Voltolini - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (2):291-305.
    In the old days of descriptivism, fictional reference and non-fictional reference with proper names were treated on a par. Descriptivism was not an intuitive theory, but it meritoriously provided a unitary semantic account of names, whether referentially full or empty. Then the revolution of the new theory of reference occurred. This new theory is definitely more intuitive than descriptivism, yet it comes with a drawback: the referentially full use and the referentially empty use, notably the fictional use, of names are (...)
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  • Russellians Should Have a No Proposition View of Empty Names.Thomas Hodgson - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Empty names are a problem for Russellians. I describe three ways to approach solving the problem. These are positing gappy propositions as contents, nonsingular propositions as contents, or denying that sentences containing empty names have contents. I discuss methods for deciding between solutions. I then argue for some methods over others and defend one solution using those methods. I reject the arguments that either intuitions about truth value, truth, content, or meaningfulness can decide between the solutions. I give an alternative (...)
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  • A Modulation Account of Negative Existentials.David Spewak - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (1):227-245.
    Fictional characters present a problem for semantic theorists. One approach to this problem has been to maintain realism regarding fictional characters, that is to claim that fictional characters exist. In this way names originating from fiction have designata. On this approach the problem of negative existentials is more pressing than it might otherwise be since an explanation must be given as to why we judge them true when the names occurring within them designate existing objects. So, realists must explain the (...)
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  • Russellians Can Have a No Proposition View of Empty Names.Thomas Hodgson - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (7):670-691.
    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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  • Counting Again.David Sanson, Ben Caplan & Cathleen Muller - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (1-2):69-82.
    The authors consider a recurring objection to fictional realism, the view that fictional characters are objects. The authors call this the counting objection. Russell presses a version of the objection against Meinong’s view. Everett presses a version of the objection against contemporary fictional realist views, as do Nolan and Sandgren. As the authors see it, the objection assumes that the fictional realist must provide criteria of identity for fictional characters, so its force depends on the plausibility of that assumption. Rather (...)
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  • Music and Vague Existence.David Friedell - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (4):437-449.
    I explain a tension between musical creationism and the view that there is no vague existence. I then suggest ways to reconcile these views. My central conclusion is that, although some versions of musical creationism imply vague existence, others do not. I discuss versions of musical creationism held by Jerrold Levinson, Simon Evnine, and Kit Fine. I also present two new versions. I close by considering whether the tension is merely an instance of a general problem raised by artifacts, both (...)
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  • Frivolous Fictions.David Sanson - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (2):357-376.
    We want to say both that Sherlock Holmes does not exist, and that he is a fictional character. But how can we say these things without committing ourselves to the existence of Sherlock Holmes? Here I develop and defend a non-commital paraphrase of quantification over fictional characters, modeled on the non-commital paraphrase Kit Fine provides for quantification over possibilia. I also develop and defend the view that names for fictional characters are weakly non-referring, in Nathan Salmon’s sense, and so provide (...)
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  • Generics and the Metaphysics of Kinds.David Liebesman & Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2021 - Philosophy Compass (7):1-14.
    Recent years have seen renewed interest in the semantics of generics. And a relatively mainstream view in this work is that the semantics of generics must appeal to kinds. But what are kinds? Can we learn anything about their nature by looking at how semantic theories of generics appeal to them? In this article, we overview recent work on the semantics of generics and consider their consequences for our understanding of the metaphysics of kinds.
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  • Abstract Creationism and Authorial Intention.David Friedell - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (2):129-137.
    Abstract creationism about fictional characters is the view that fictional characters are abstract objects that authors create. I defend this view against criticisms from Stuart Brock that hitherto have not been adequately countered. The discussion sheds light on how the number of fictional characters depends on authorial intention. I conclude also that we should change how we think intentions are connected to artifacts more generally, both abstract and concrete.
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  • Fictionalism About Fictional Characters Revisited.Stuart Brock - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (2):377-403.
    Fictionalism about fictional characters is a view according to which all claims ostensibly about fictional characters are in fact claims about the content of a story. Claims that appear to refer to or quantify over fictional objects contain an implicit prefix of the form “according to such-and-such story. In "Fictionalism about Fictional Characters", I defended this kind of view. Over the last fourteen years, a number of criticisms have been leveled against this variety of fictionalism. This paper reconsiders the initial (...)
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  • Content Disjunctivism and the Perception of Appearances.Martin A. Lipman - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (18).
    Content disjunctivism is the view that veridical experience involves contents and objects that differ from those of corresponding hallucinations. On one formulation of this view, we are aware of ordinary material things in our surroundings when we experience veridically, and we are aware of mere appearances when we hallucinate. This paper proposes a way of developing this view and offers some considerations in support. Central to the proposed regimentation will be a distinction between different notions of appearance. We distinguish between (...)
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  • No Identity Without an Entity.Luke Manning - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1):279-305.
    Peter Geach's puzzle of intentional identity is to explain how the claim ‘Hob thinks a witch has blighted Bob's mare, and Nob wonders whether she killed Cob's sow’ is compatible with there being no such witch. I clarify the puzzle and reduce it to the familiar problem of negative existentials. That problem is a paradox of representations that seem to include denials of commitment , to carry commitment to what they deny commitment to, and to be true. The best proposed (...)
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  • Understanding the Intentions Behind the Referential/Attributive Distinction.Megan Henricks Stotts - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (2):351-362.
    In his recently published John Locke Lectures, Saul Kripke attempts to capture Keith Donnellan’s referential/attributive distinction for definite descriptions using a distinction between general and specific intentions. I argue that although Kripke’s own way of capturing the referential/attributive distinction is inadequate, we can use general and specific intentions to successfully capture the distinction if we also distinguish between primary and secondary intentions. An attributive use is characterized by the fact that the general intention is either the primary or only designative (...)
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  • Kripke Was Right Even If He Was Wrong: Sherlock Holmes and the Unicorns.Harold Noonan - 2021 - Disputatio 13 (60):51-69.
    In the Addenda to Naming and Necessity, Kripke famously argues that it is false that there could have been unicorns, or more properly, that “no counterfactual situation is properly describable as one in which there would have been unicorns.” He adds that he holds similarly that ‘one cannot say of any possible person that he would have been Sherlock Holmes, had he existed.” He notes the “cryptic brevity” of these remarks and refers to a forthcoming work for elaborations—the work being, (...)
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  • Negative existentials as corrections: a partial solution to the problem of negative existentials in segmented discourse representation theory.Lenny Clapp - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (6):1281-1315.
    Paradigmatic uses of negative existentials such as ‘Vulcan does not exist’ are problematic because they present the interpreter with a pragmatic paradox: a speaker who uses such a sentence seems to be asserting something that is incompatible with what she presupposes. An adequate solution must therefore explain why we interpret paradigmatic uses of negative existentials as saying something true, even though such uses present us with a pragmatic paradox. I provide such an explanation by analyzing paradigmatic uses of negative existentials (...)
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  • The Fictional Road Not Taken: A Weak Anti-Realist Theory of Fiction.Peter Alward - forthcoming - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.
    Nathan Salmon has defended what might be called “weak modal anti-realism”—the view that possible-object names can refer to possible objects that neither exist nor are otherwise real. But rather than adopting a similar view in the fictional case, he instead defends fictional creationism—the view that fictional characters are existent but abstract entities created by authors of fiction. In this paper, I first argue that if weak modal antirealism is defensible then weak fictional antirealism is defensible as well. Second, I argue (...)
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  • Fictional Names and the Problem of Intersubjective Identification.Fiora Salis - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (3):283-301.
    The problem of intersubjective identification arises from the difficulties of explaining how our thoughts and discourse about fictional characters can be directed towards the same (or different) characters given the assumption that there are no fictional entities. In this paper I aim to offer a solution in terms of participation in a practice of thinking and talking about the same thing, which is inspired by Sainsbury's name-using practices. I will critically discuss a similar idea that was put forward by Friend (...)
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  • Predelli on Fictional Discourse.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2022 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (1):83-94.
    John Searle argues that fictions are constituted by mere pretense—by the simulation of representational activities like assertions, without any further representational aim. They are not the result of sui generis, dedicated speech acts of a specific kind, on a par with assertion. The view had earlier many defenders, and still has some. Stefano Predelli enlists considerations derived from Searle in support of his radical fictionalism. This is the view that a sentence of fictional discourse including a prima facie empty fictional (...)
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  • Propositions, Meaning, and Names.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - 2018 - Philosophical Forum 49 (3):335-362.
    The object of this paper is to sketch an approach to propositions, meaning and names. The key ingredients are a Twin-Earth-inspired distinction between internal and external meaning, and a middle-Wittgenstein-inspired conception of internal meaning as role in language system. I show how the approach offers a promising solution to the problem of the meaning of proper names. This is a plea for a neglected way of thinking about these topics.
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  • Authorial Intention, Readers’ Creation, and Reference Shift.Jeonggyu Lee - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (2):381-401.
    This paper deals with the identity problems of fictional objects, focusing on Anthony Everett's and Stuart Brock's leading criticisms against fictional creationism, the view that fictional objects are abstract objects created by our acts involving literary practices. My primary aim is to argue that creationism based on referentialism has enough resources to individuate fictional objects and hence can address the alleged identity problems: every alleged problematic case regarding the identity of fictional objects is well explained in terms of the notions (...)
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  • Impossible Fictions Part I: Lessons for Fiction.Daniel Nolan - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (2):1-12.
    Impossible fictions are valuable evidence both for a theory of fiction and for theories of meaning, mind and epistemology. This article focuses on what we can learn about fiction from reflecting on impossible fictions. First, different kinds of impossible fiction are considered, and the question of how much fiction is impossible is addressed. What impossible fiction contributes to our understanding of "truth in fiction" and the logic of fiction will be examined. Finally, our understanding of unreliable narrators and unreliable narration (...)
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  • Fictionality and Imagination, Revisited.Lee Walters - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (1):15-21.
    I present and discuss a counterexample to Kendall Walton's necessary condition for fictionality that arises from considering serial fictions. I argue that although Walton has not in fact provided a necessary condition for fictionality, a more complex version of Walton's condition is immune from the counterexample.
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  • Identity in Fiction.Richard Woodward - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):646-671.
    Anthony Everett () argues that those who embrace the reality of fictional entities run into trouble when it comes to specifying criteria of character identity. More specifically, he argues that realists must reject natural principles governing the identity and distinctness of fictional characters due to the existence of fictions which leave it indeterminate whether certain characters are identical and the existence of fictions which say inconsistent things about the identities of their characters. Everett's critique has deservedly drawn much attention and (...)
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  • Saul A. Kripke Reference and Existence: The John Locke Lectures. Oxford University Press, 2013. Xiii + 170 Pp. GBP £22.50. Isbn 978‐0‐19‐992838‐5. [REVIEW]Björn Lundgren - 2015 - Theoria 81 (2):182-188.
  • How Did We Get Here From There? The Transformation of Analytic Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2014 - Belgrade Philosophical Annual 27:7-37.
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  • Bos̩ Adlar Ve Dil Felsefesinin Ontolojik Yükü.Yavuz Recep Bas̩oğlu & Mehmet Taylan Cüyaz - 2017 - Ethos: Dialogues in Philosophy and Social Sciences 10 (1).
    Bu metnin gayesi, dil felsefesi, mantık ve ontoloji alanlarında ortak olarak karşılaşılan boş adlar problemini ele almaktır. Metinde, çağdaş semantik kuramlarının ve dil felsefesinin ortaya çıkışında önemli rolü olan J. S. Mill’in özel adlar üzerine düşüncelerinden başlanarak, analitik felsefenin temelini atan, köşe taşları diyebileceğimiz G. Frege ve B. Russell’ın semantik kuramlarına değinilecektir. Daha sonra, kendi dil felsefesi pozisyonunu bu iki isimin eleştirisi üzerinden kurgulayan S. Kripke’nin, bu isimlere karşı olan argümanları incelenecektir. Metinde, bu incelemeyi gerçekleştirdikten sonra, S. Kripke ve B. (...)
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  • Kripke’nin Kurgu Çözümlemesinde Ad ve Adımsı Arasındaki İlişki.Erim Bakkal - 2022 - Kilikya Felsefe Dergisi / Cilicia Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):36-53.
    Özet: Bu metindeki amacım Kripke’nin kurgu çözümlemesinde özel adlar ve adımsılar (pretended name) arasındaki ilişkiyi ele almak. Kripke için özel adlar değişmez imleyicilerdir (rigid designator), yani tek bir varlığı/şeyi var olduğu tüm olanaklı dünyalarda biricik belirlerler. Adımsılar ise kurgusal söylemde ortaya çıkan kurgunun taslamasının bir parçasıdır; yani kurgu dünyadaki karakterlerin adlarıdır. Kripke’ye göre adımsılar sadece gerçek adları taklit eden fakat taklit ve benzerlik ilişkisinden öte bir ilişkileri olmayan, adlardan kategorik olarak farklı şeylerdir. Fakat Kripke için adlar ve adımsılar kategorik olarak (...)
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  • Ontology After Folk Psychology; or, Why Eliminativists Should Be Mental Fictionalists.T. Parent - manuscript
    Mental fictionalism holds that folk psychology should be regarded as a kind of fiction. The present version gives a Lewisian prefix semantics for mentalistic discourse, where roughly, a mentalistic sentence “p” is true iff “p” is deducible from the folk psychological fiction. An eliminativist version of the view can seem self-refuting, but this charge is neutralized. Yet a different kind of “self-effacing” emerges: Mental fictionalism appears to be a mere “parasite” on a future science of cognition, without contributing anything substantial. (...)
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  • Meinong Strikes Again. Return to Impossible Objects 100 Years Later.Laura Mari & Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25).
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