Authors
Louis deRosset
University of Vermont
Abstract
A standard view of reference holds that a speaker's use of a name refers to a certain thing in virtue of the speaker's associating a condition with that use that singles the referent out. This view has been criticized by Saul Kripke as empirically inadequate. Recently, however, it has been argued that a version of the standard view, a /response-based theory of reference/, survives the charge of empirical inadequacy by allowing that associated conditions may be largely or even entirely implicit. This paper argues that response-based theories of reference are prey to a variant of the empirical inadequacy objection, because they are ill-suited to accommodate the successful use of proper names by pre-school children. Further, I argue that there is reason to believe that normal adults are, by and large, no different from children with respect to how the referents of their names are determined. I conclude that speakers typically refer /positionally/: the referent of a use of a proper name is typically determined by aspects of the speaker's position, rather than by associated conditions present, however implicitly, in her psychology.
Keywords Proper Names  Reference  Descriptivism  Causal-Historical Theory of Reference  Jackson, Frank  Chalmers, David
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Reprint years 2011
DOI 10.1080/00048401003649609
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References found in this work BETA

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Varieties of Reference.Louise M. Antony - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (2):275.

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Citations of this work BETA

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On Pictorially Mediated Mind-Object Relations.Jessica Pepp - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-29.
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