Name-bearing, reference, and circularity

Philosophical Studies 171 (2):207-231 (2014)
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Abstract

Proponents of the predicate view of names explain the reference of an occurrence of a name N by invoking the property of bearing N. They avoid the charge that this view involves a vicious circularity by claiming that bearing N is not itself to be understood in terms of the reference of actual or possible occurrences of N. I argue that this approach is fundamentally mistaken. The phenomenon of ‘reference transfer’ shows that an individual can come to bear a name in virtue of the referential practices of a group of speakers. I develop a picture of name-bearing which captures this fact by treating the extension of name as a function of the way that extension is represented in the presuppositions of groups of speakers. I show that though there is a form of circularity inherent in this approach, it is not vicious circularity

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Aidan Gray
University of Illinois, Chicago

Citations of this work

Names Are Predicates.Delia Graff Fara - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):59-117.
Names in strange places.Aidan Gray - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (5):429-472.
Names Are Variables.Anders J. Schoubye - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (1):53-94.

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References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
The Reference Book.John Hawthorne & David Manley - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
Mental Files.François Recanati - 2012 - Oxford University Press.

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