The Question of Rigidity in New Theories of Reference

Noûs 37 (1):161 - 179 (2003)
In the semantic revolution that has led many philosophers of language away from Fregeanism and towards the acceptance of direct reference, the notion of rigidity introduced by Saul Kripke in Naming and Necessity has played a crucial role. The notions of rigidity and direct reference are indeed different, but proponents of new theories of reference agree that there is a one way connection between them: although not all rigid terms are directly referential (witness rigid definite descriptions), all directly referential terms are rigid. My purpose in this paper is to contest this widely held view. I will argue that, on a certain conception of what direct reference is (a conception present in the works of the main proponents of the theory), the fact that a term is directly referential does not entail that it is rigid. From this conclusion, I will argue, we can learn some substantial lessons about the assumptions and commitments of new theories of reference.
Keywords Direct Reference  Millianism  Rigidity
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/1468-0068.00434
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 31,404
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press, Usa.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
Descriptions.Stephen Neale - 1990 - MIT Press.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Mill and Kripke on Proper Names and Natural Kind Terms.Stephen P. Schwartz - 2013 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (5):925 - 945.
Russell-Names: An Introduction to Millian Descriptivism.Stefano Predelli - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (5):603-622.
Peirce's Direct, Non-Reductive Contextual Theory of Names. Agler - 2010 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 46 (4):611-640.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
93 ( #62,397 of 2,226,009 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #141,472 of 2,226,009 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature