Mind and Language 24 (4):433-444 (2009)
A strictly Millian approach to proper names is defended, i.e. one in which expressions when used properly ('onymically') refer directly, i.e. without the semantic intermediaryship of the words that appear to comprise them. The approach may appear self-evident for names which appear to have no component parts (in current English) but less so for others. Two modes of reference are distinguished for potentially ambiguous expressions such as The Long Island . A consequence of this distinction is to allow a speculative neurolinguistics of proper ('onymic') and semantic ('non-onymic') reference. A further consequence is that translation of onymically referring expressions is impossible (since they have no semantic content), and some apparently self-evident objections to this view are met by insisting on a distinction between a proper name as a referring expression and its etymology. The nature of the linguistic mechanism(s) by which an expression becomes proper (i.e. loses sense) shows that etymological opacity is a precondition for the survival of words in certain proper names, furnishing evidence for reference without sense. The process of becoming proper amounts to abrogation of sense for the purpose of reference, which is precisely the requirement for a systematic defence of Mill.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive.John Stuart Mill - 1843 - University of Toronto Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Descriptions Which Have Grown Capital Letters.Brian Rabern - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (3):292-319.
On Problems with Descriptivism: Psychological Assumptions and Empirical Evidence.Eduardo García-Ramírez & Marilyn Shatz - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (1):53-77.
Similar books and articles
Frege's Theory of Hybrid Proper Names Developed and Defended.Textor Mark - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):947-982.
Causality, Referring, and Proper Names.David S. Schwarz - 1978 - Linguistics and Philosophy 2 (2):225 - 233.
Proper Names and Practices: On Reference Without Referents.Mark Textor - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):105-118.
Added to index2009-08-27
Total downloads58 ( #89,231 of 2,158,126 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #136,617 of 2,158,126 )
How can I increase my downloads?