Donnellan on neptune

Donnellan famously argued that while one can fix the reference of a name with a definite description, one cannot thereby have a de re belief about the named object. All that is generated is meta-linguistic knowledge that the sentence “If there is a unique F, then N is F” is true. Donnellan’s argument and the sceptical position are extremely influential. This article aims to show that Donnellan’s argument is unsound, and that the Millian who embraces Donnellan’s scepticism that the reference-fixer cannot secure the relevant de re belief faces a serious problem: Millianism about names plus scepticism about the reference-fixer’s de re belief conflicts with what seems to be an analytical thesis about the relationship between semantic content and understanding. The upshot is that the Millian has good reason to seek an alternative to scepticism
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2001.tb00094.x
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References found in this work BETA
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press, Usa.
Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Spreading the Word.Simon Blackburn - 1984 - Clarendon Press.
Demonstratives.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.

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Citations of this work BETA
Soames on Descriptive Reference-Fixing.Robin Jeshion - 2006 - Philosophical Issues 16 (1):120–140.
Bivalence and What is Said.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (1):167–190.
Thought by Description.Michael Mckinsey - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (1):83-102.
Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.David Braun - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1):57-99.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Substitution and Reference.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Journal of Philosophy 63 (21):685-688.
Analyticity, Necessity, and the Epistemology of Semantics.Jerrold J. Katz - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (1):1-28.
Belief and the Identity of Reference.Keith S. Donnellan - 1989 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 14 (1):275-288.
Speaker's Reference and Semantic Reference.Saul A. Kripke - 1977 - In Peter A. French, Theodore E. Uehling Jr & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Studies in the Philosophy of Language. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 255-296.

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