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  1. Definiteness and Determinacy.Elizabeth Coppock & David Beaver - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (5):377-435.
    This paper distinguishes between definiteness and determinacy. Definiteness is seen as a morphological category which, in English, marks a uniqueness presupposition, while determinacy consists in denoting an individual. Definite descriptions are argued to be fundamentally predicative, presupposing uniqueness but not existence, and to acquire existential import through general type-shifting operations that apply not only to definites, but also indefinites and possessives. Through these shifts, argumental definite descriptions may become either determinate or indeterminate. The latter option is observed in examples like (...)
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  • Quinean predicativism.Michael Rieppel - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):23-44.
    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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  • 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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  • Levels of Linguistic Acts and the Semantics of Saying and Quoting.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - In Savas L. Tsohatzidis (ed.), Interpreting Austin: Critical Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 34-59.
    This paper will outline a novel semantics of verbs of saying and of quotation based on Austin’s (1962) distinction among levels of linguistic acts (illocutionary, locutionary, rhetic, phatic, and phonetic acts). It will propose a way of understanding the notion of a rhetic act and argue that it is well-reflected in the semantics of natural language. The paper will furthermore outline a novel, unified and compositional semantics of quotation which is guided by two ideas. First, quotations convey properties related to (...)
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  • Russellians Can Solve the Problem of Empty Names with Nonsingular Propositions.Thomas Hodgson - 2020 - Synthese 197:5411–5433.
    Views that treat the contents of sentences as structured, Russellian propositions face a problem with empty names. It seems that those sorts of things cannot be the contents of sentences containing such names. I motivate and defend a solution to the problem according to which a sentence may have a singular proposition as its content at one time, and a nonsingular one at another. When the name is empty the content is a nonsingular Russellian structured proposition; when the name is (...)
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  • Why the Predicativist Calling Account Fails: Names Can Never Hurt You.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Recently, and rather startlingly, given the history of the debate about a name's semantic content, some claim that names are in fact predicates -- predicativism. Some of predicativists claim that a name's semantic content involves the concept of being called -- calling accounts that have been traditionally meta-linguistic. However, these accounts fail to be informative. Inspired by Burge's claim that proper names are literally true of the individuals that have them, Fara develops a non-meta-linguistic concept of being called analysed in (...)
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  • Impure Reference: A Way Around the Concept Horse Paradox.Fraser MacBride - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):297-312.
    This paper provides a new solution to the concept horse paradox. Frege argued no name co-refers with a predicate because no name can be inter-substituted with a predicate. This led Frege to embrace the paradox of the concept horse. But Frege got it wrong because predicates are impurely referring expressions and we shouldn’t expect impurely referring expressions to be intersubstitutable even if they co-refer, because the contexts in which they occur are sensitive to the extra information they carry about their (...)
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  • 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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  • On the Supposed Connection Between Proper Names and Singular Thought.Rachel Goodman - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):197-223.
    A thesis I call the name-based singular thought thesis is part of orthodoxy in contemporary philosophy of mind and language: it holds that taking part in communication involving a proper name puts one in a position to entertain singular thoughts about the name’s referent. I argue, first, that proponents of the NBT thesis have failed to explain the phenomenon of name-based singular thoughts, leaving it mysterious how name-use enables singular thoughts. Second, by outlining the reasoning that makes the NBT thesis (...)
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  • Predicates, Parts, and Impermanence: A Contemporary Version of Some Central Buddhist Tenets.Matthew McKeever - 2018 - Religious Studies 54 (4):475-488.
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  • 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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  • Russell-Names: An Introduction to Millian Descriptivism.Stefano Predelli - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (5):603-622.
    This essay studies the semantic properties of what I call Russell-names. Russell-names bear intimate semantic relations with descriptive conditions, in consonance with the main tenets of descriptivism. Yet, they are endowed with the semantic properties attributed to ordinary proper names by Millianism: they are rigid and non-indexical devices of direct reference. This is not an essay in natural language semantics, and remains deliberately neutral with respect to the question whether any among the expressions we ordinarily classify as proper names behave (...)
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  • On the Unification Argument for the Predicate View on Proper Names.Dolf Rami - 2014 - Synthese 191 (5):1-22.
    The predicate view on proper names opts for a uniform semantic representation of proper nouns like ‘Alfred’ as predicates on the level of logical form. Early defences of this view can be found in Sloat (Language, vol. 45, pp. 26–30, 1969) and Burge (J. Philos. 70: 425–439, 1973), but there is an increasing more recent interest in this view on proper names. My paper aims to provide a reconstruction and critique of Burge’s main argument for the predicate view on proper (...)
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  • The Supervenience of Truth: Freewill and Omniscience.Storrs McCall - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):501-506.
  • Who’s Afraid of the Predicate Theory of Names?Stefano Predelli - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (4):363-376.
    This essay is devoted to an analysis of the semantic significance of a fashionable view of proper names, the Predicate Theory of names, typically developed in the direction of the Metalinguistic Theory of names. According to MT, ‘syntactic evidence supports the conclusion that a name such as ‘Kennedy’ is analyzable in terms of the predicate ‘individual named ‘Kennedy’’. This analysis is in turn alleged to support a descriptivist treatment of proper names in designative position, presumably in contrast with theories of (...)
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  • All the Superhero’s Names.Olga Poller - 2017 - Studia Semiotyczne—English Supplement 29:127-158.
    In this paper I concern myself with The Superman Puzzle. I argue that the descriptive content associated with proper names, besides determining the proper name’s reference, function as truth-conditionally relevant adjuncts which can be used to express a manner, reason, goal, time or purpose of action. In that way a sentence with a proper name ‘NN is doing something’ could be understood as ‘NN is doing something as NN’. I argue that the substitution of names can fail on modified readings (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 15, Saarbruecken.Ingo Reich (ed.) - 2010 - Saarbrücken: Universitätsverlag des Saarlandes.
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  • The Mill-Frege Theory of Proper Names.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2018 - Mind 127 (508):1107-1168.
    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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  • Propriedades Naturais e Mundos Possíveis.Renato Mendes Rocha - 2015 - Coleção XVI Encontro ANPOF.
    O objetivo geral da pesquisa da qual esse artigo faz parte é investigar o sistema metafísico que emerge dos trabalhos de David Lewis. Esse sistema pode ser decomposto em pelo menos duas teorias. A primeira nomeada como realismo modal genuíno (RMG) e a segunda como mosaico neo-humeano. O RMG é, sem dúvida, mais popular e defende a hipótese metafísica da existência de uma pluralidade de mundos possíveis. A principal razão em favor dessa hipótese é a sua aplicabilidade na discussão de (...)
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  • Names Are Variables.Anders J. Schoubye - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (1):53-94.
    MILLIANISM and DESCRIPTIVISM are without question the two most prominent views with respect to the semantics of proper names. However, debates between MILLIANS and DESCRIPTIVISTS have tended to focus on a fairly narrow set of linguistic data and an equally narrow set of problems, mainly how to solve with Frege's puzzle and how to guarantee rigidity. In this article, the author focuses on a set of data that has been given less attention in these debates—namely, so-called predicative uses, bound uses, (...)
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  • A Problem for Predicativism Solved by Predicativism.Delia Graff Fara - 2015 - Analysis 75 (3):362-370.
    Consider the following sentences: In every race, the colt won; In every race, John won.John Hawthorne and David Manley say that the difference between these two sentences raises a problem for Predicativism about names. According to the currently more standard version of Predicativism, a bare singular name in argument position, like ‘John’ in , is embedded in a definite description with an unpronounced definite article. The problem is supposed to be that permits a covarying reading that allows for different races (...)
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  • 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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  • A Pragmatic View of Proper Name Reference.Peter Ridley - 2016 - Dissertation, King's College London
    I argue, in this thesis, that proper name reference is a wholly pragmatic phenomenon. The reference of a proper name is neither constitutive of, nor determined by, the semantic content of that name, but is determined, on an occasion of use, by pragmatic factors. The majority of views in the literature on proper name reference claim that reference is in some way determined by the semantics of the name, either because their reference simply constitutes their semantics (which generally requires a (...)
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  • 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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  • Type-Ambiguous Names.Anders J. Schoubye - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):715-767.
    The orthodox view of proper names, Millianism, provides a very simple and elegant explanation of the semantic contribution of referential uses of names–names that occur as bare singulars and as the argument of a predicate. However, one problem for Millianism is that it cannot explain the semantic contribution of predicative uses of names. In recent years, an alternative view, so-called the-predicativism, has become increasingly popular. According to the-predicativists, names are uniformly count nouns. This straightforwardly explains why names can be used (...)
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  • Linguistic Evidence Against Predicativism.Wolfram Hinzen - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (10):591-608.
    The view that proper names are uniformly predicates has recently gained prominence. I review linguistic evidence against it. Overall, the linguistic evidence suggests that proper names function as predicates when they appear in a grammatically predicative position and as referential expressions when they are grammatically in a referential position. Conceptual grounds on which the predicativist view might nonetheless be upheld include ‘uniformity’, i.e., that a single semantic value be lexically specified for names in all of their occurrences irrespective of differences (...)
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  • The Structure of Propositions and Cross-Linguistic Syntactic Variability.Vasilis Tsompanidis - 2013 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy (39):399-419.
    In Jeffrey King’s theory of structured propositions, propositional structure mirrors the syntactic structure of natural language sentences that express it. I provide cases where this claim individuates propositions too finely across languages. Crucially, King’s paradigmatic proposition-fact ^that Dara swims^ cannot be believed by a monolingual Greek speaker, due to Greek syntax requiring an obligatory article in front of proper names. King’s two possible replies are: (i) to try to streamline the syntax of Greek and English; or (ii) to insist that (...)
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  • Indexicals and Names in Proverbs.Katarzyna Kijania-Placek - 2016 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 46 (1):59-78.
    This paper offers an analysis of indexical expressions and proper names as they are used in proverbs. Both indexicals and proper names contribute properties rather than objects to the propositions expressed when they are used in sentences interpreted as proverbs. According to the proposal, their contribution is accounted for by the mechanism of descriptive anaphora. Indexicals with rich linguistic meaning, such as ‘I’, ‘you’ or ‘today’, turn out to be cases of the attributive uses of indexicals, i.e. uses whose contribution (...)
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  • Names.Sam Cumming - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Concept Types and Determination.S. Lobner - 2011 - Journal of Semantics 28 (3):279-333.
    The article offers a systematic account of four basic types of nouns, of four basic types of nominal determination and of the interaction of noun type and determination type. The four basic noun types are sortal, individual, relational and functional; they correspond to the four logical types 〈e,t〉, e, 〈e,〈e,t〉〉 and 〈e,e〉 on the one hand, and to four types of concepts on the other. The four basic types of nominal determination are singular definite, indefinite (a variety of determinations including (...)
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  • Grammar, Ontology, and the Unity of Meaning.Ulrich Reichard - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Durham
    Words have meaning. Sentences also have meaning, but their meaning is different in kind from any collection of the meanings of the words they contain. I discuss two puzzles related to this difference. The first is how the meanings of the parts of a sentence combine to give rise to a unified sentential meaning, as opposed to a mere collection of disparate meanings (UP1). The second is why the formal ontology of linguistic meaning changes when grammatical structure is built up (...)
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  • Book Review: Predelli, S. Proper Names: A Millian Account. [REVIEW]Nicolás Lo Guercio - 2018 - Manuscrito 41 (2):137-147.
    ABSTRACT In this review I discuss Stefano Predelli’s book Proper Names: A Millian Account. The book provides a defense of the traditional Millian view according to which proper names are non-indexical, rigid devices of direct reference. In addition, Predelli discusses some usual interpretations as misconceptions and it contests many common objections. I provide an overview of its chapters and consider some of its strengths and weaknesses.
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  • Against Predicativism About Names.Jeonggyu Lee - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (1):243-261.
    According to predicativism about names, names which occur in argument positions have the same type of semantic contents as predicates. In this paper, I shall argue that these bare singular names do not have the same type of semantic contents as predicates. I will present three objections to predicativism—the modal, the epistemic, and the translation objections—and show that they succeed even against the more sophisticated versions of predicativism defended by Fara and Bach.
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  • Against Predicativism About Names.Jeonggyu Lee - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (1):243-261.
    According to predicativism about names, names which occur in argument positions have the same type of semantic contents as predicates. In this paper, I shall argue that these bare singular names do not have the same type of semantic contents as predicates. I will present three objections to predicativism—the modal, the epistemic, and the translation objections—and show that they succeed even against the more sophisticated versions of predicativism defended by Fara and Bach.
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  • The Use-Conditional Indexical Conception of Proper Names.Dolf Rami - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):119-150.
    In this essay I will defend a novel version of the indexical view on proper names. According to this version, proper names have a relatively sparse truth-conditional meaning that is represented by their rigid content and indexical character, but a relatively rich use-conditional meaning, which I call the (contextual) constraint of a proper name. Firstly, I will provide a brief outline of my favoured indexical view on names in contrast to other indexical views proposed in the relevant literature. Secondly, two (...)
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  • Serious Actualism and Higher-Order Predication.Bruno Jacinto - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 48 (3):471-499.
    Serious actualism is the prima facie plausible thesis that things couldn’t have been related while being nothing. The thesis plays an important role in a number of arguments in metaphysics, e.g., in Plantinga’s argument for the claim that propositions do not ontologically depend on the things that they are about and in Williamson’s argument for the claim that he, Williamson, is necessarily something. Salmon has put forward that which is, arguably, the most pressing challenge to serious actualists. Salmon’s objection is (...)
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  • The Other Francis Bacon: On Non-BARE Proper Names.Ora Matushansky - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (2):335-362.
    In this paper I provide novel arguments for the predicative approach to proper names, which claims that argument proper names are definite descriptions containing a naming predicate . I first argue that modified proper names, such as the incomparable Maria Callas or the other Francis Bacon cannot be handled on the hypothesis that argument proper names have no internal structure and uniformly denote entities. I then discuss cases like every Adolf, which would normally be interpreted as every individual named Adolf (...)
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  • The Multiple Uses of Proper Nouns.Dolf Rami - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S2):405-432.
    In this essay I will defend the thesis that proper nouns are primarily used as proper names—as atomic singular referring expressions—and different possible predicative uses of proper nouns are derived from this primary use or an already derived secondary predicative use of proper nouns. There is a general linguistic phenomenon of the derivation of new meanings from already existing meanings of an expression. This phenomenon has different manifestations and different linguistic mechanisms can be used to establish derived meanings of different (...)
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  • Against the Russellian Open Future.Anders J. Schoubye & Brian Rabern - 2017 - Mind 126 (504): 1217–1237.
    Todd (2016) proposes an analysis of future-directed sentences, in particular sentences of the form 'will(φ)', that is based on the classic Russellian analysis of definite descriptions. Todd's analysis is supposed to vindicate the claim that the future is metaphysically open while retaining a simple Ockhamist semantics of future contingents and the principles of classical logic, i.e. bivalence and the law of excluded middle. Consequently, an open futurist can straightforwardly retain classical logic without appeal to supervaluations, determinacy operators, or any further (...)
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  • 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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  • The Naked ‘Duchess’: Names Are Titles.Roberta Ballarin - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (4):349-379.
    In her recent defense of predicativism for proper names, Delia Graff Fara proposes the following non-metalinguistic being-called condition for the applicability of names as predicates: A name ‘N’ is true of a thing if and only if it is called N. The BCC is supposed to hold for names only. In this essay I criticize Fara’s BCC by arguing that the word ‘called’ is ambiguous, and that the BCC holds only for the particular sense of ‘calling’ as naming. I revise (...)
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  • 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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  • On Being Called Something.Geoff Georgi - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (6):595-619.
    Building on recent work by Delia Graff Fara and Ora Matushansky on appellative constructions like ‘Mirka called Roger handsome’, I argue that if Millianism about proper names is true, then the quantifier ‘something’ in ‘Mirka called Roger something’ is best understood as a kind of substitutional quantifier. Any adequate semantics for such quantifiers must explain both the logical behavior of ‘Mirka called Roger something’ and the acceptability of ‘so’-anaphora in ‘Mirka called Roger something, and everyone so called is handsome’. Millianism (...)
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  • The Predicate View of Proper Names.Kent Bach - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (11):772-784.
    The Millian view that the meaning of a proper name is simply its referent has long been popular among philosophers of language. It might even be deemed the orthodox view, despite its well-known difficulties. Fregean and Russellian alternatives, though widely discussed, are much less popular. The Predicate View has not even been taken seriously, at least until fairly recently, but finally, it is receiving the attention it deserves. It says that a name expresses the property of bearing that name. Despite (...)
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  • In Defense of the Unification Argument for Predicativism.Sajed Tayebi - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (5):557-576.
    The unification argument, usually regarded as the main argument for predicativism about proper names, has recently been attacked by Robin Jeshion. According to Jeshion, the unification argument is based on the assumption of the literality of predicative uses of proper names in statements such as “There is one Alfred in Princeton.” In such a use, a proper name ‘N’ is used predicatively to denote those, and only those, objects called N. As Jeshion argues, however, there are many other examples in (...)
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  • The Descriptive Content of Names as Predicate Modifiers.Olga Poller - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (9):2329-2360.
    In this paper I argue that descriptive content associated with a proper name can serve as a truth-conditionally relevant adjunct and be an additional contribution of the name to the truth-conditions. Definite descriptions the so-and-so associated by speakers with a proper name can be used as qualifying prepositional phrases as so-and-so, so sentences containing a proper name NN is doing something could be understood as NN is doing something as NN. Used as an adjunct, the descriptive content of a proper (...)
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  • The Meaning of “I” in “I”-Thought.Minyao Huang - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (5):480-501.
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  • The Predicative Predicament.Anders J. Schoubye - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:571-595.
    The-Predicativism is the view that names are count nouns. For example, the meaning of the name ‘Louise’ is roughly the property of being called Louise. Moreover, proponents of this view maintain that names that are ostensibly in argument position of a predicate are covert definite descriptions. In recent years, The-Predicativism has acquired a number of new supporters, mainly Elbourne (), Matushansky (), and Fara (). And while it was pointed out by Kripke () that these kinds of views generally struggle (...)
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  • 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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