Empty names in the theory of direct reference. David Braun's conception and its weaknesses

Diametros:130-149 (2011)
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Abstract
David Braun develops two theories of empty names meant to be compatible with the Direct Reference Theory. I first present the main problems that empty names pose for it. Next, I discuss descriptivism , elaborate how a descriptivist might try to deal with these problems, and explain why the descriptivist's approach is unsatisfactory. After explaining Braun's own position I argue that some aspects of his view are still quite problematic, especially his view on the relation between beliefs and propositions, his claim that there are some beliefs which do not express propositions, the fact that some important claims of the Direct Reference Theory have to be modifed to accommodate his account, the lack of semantic differentation between merely syntactically similar sentences, and the coarse-grainedness of the assignment of truth values and identity conditions to certain propositions
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