On Problems with Descriptivism: Psychological Assumptions and Empirical Evidence

Mind and Language 26 (1):53-77 (2011)

Abstract
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 from a developmental perspective
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2010.01410.x
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References found in this work BETA

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.
The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Editorial Introduction: History of the Philosophy of Language.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2012 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Max Kölbel (eds.), The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Continuum International. pp. 1.
A Cognitive Theory of Empty Names.Eduardo García-Ramírez - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (4):785-807.

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