In Defense of Historical Chain-Descriptivism


Authors
David DeMatteo
Reed College
Abstract
This paper makes an intervention into the debate between descriptivist and causal theories of reference-fixing by arguing that the two aren’t necessarily exclusive. One can formulate a theory of reference-fixing which closely mimics Kripke’s causal theory but which frames the relation between speakers in terms of descriptions rather than intentions. When a speaker utters the name, they associate the following description with the name: “the object/name that is referred to by the person I heard/read/learned the name from when they utter/write ‘nn’”. The reference itself will only be successful if 1) one object, and one object only, is determined by this reference, and 2) the descriptions stretch back to an individual who is the original ‘dubber’ of the name, whose descriptive content associated with the name does not incorporate the notion of reference. The majority of this paper is dedicated to showing both the tenability and the beneficial upshots of such a theory of reference, which, I will argue, both qualifies as descriptivist by Kripke’s own standards and does not fall victim to Kripke’s famous arguments against descriptivism. I conclude by responding to some criticisms of historical chain-descriptivism, and considering its implications for the descriptivism-causal theory dispute.
Keywords Descriptivism  Causal Theory of Reference  Theory of Referrence  Kripke  Searle
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 42,938
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.
Intentionality, an Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John Searle - 1983 - Philosophical Quarterly 36 (143):300-303.
Against Causal Descriptivism.Panu Raatikainen - 2006 - Mind and Society 5 (1):78-84.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Against Causal Descriptivism.Panu Raatikainen - 2006 - Mind and Society 5 (1):78-84.
Does Naming and Necessity Refute Descriptivism?Josep Macià - 1998 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 13 (3):445-476.
In Defense of a Kripkean Dogma.Jonathan Ichikawa, Ishani Maitra & Brian Weatherson - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):56-68.
Kripke and the Neo-Descriptivist.Finn Spicer - 2010 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 81 (1):215-233.
Was Searle's Descriptivism Refuted?Karen Green - 1998 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):109-13.
Socio-Historical Causal Descriptivism.Chen Bo - 2016 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 16 (1):45-67.
Desires, Descriptivism, and Reference Failure.Alexander Hughes - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):279-296.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-06-01

Total views
0

Recent downloads (6 months)
0

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes

Sign in to use this feature