Authors
Robin Jeshion
University of Southern California
Abstract
The epistemological argument against descriptivism about proper names is extremely simple. For a proper name ‘N’ and definite description ‘F’, the proposition expressed by “If N exists, then N is F” is not normally known a priori. But descriptivism about proper names entails otherwise. So descriptivism is false. The argument is widely regarded as sound. This paper aims to establish that the epistemological argument is highly unstable. The problem with the argument is that there seems to be no convincing rationale for the first premise that is independent of a view about the nature of the proposition expressed by the sentence “If N exists, then N is F”
Keywords descriptivism Kripke
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2002.tb00004.x
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References found in this work BETA

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
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.
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
Reference and Essence.Nathan U. Salmon - 1981 - Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Against Predicativism About Names.Jeonggyu Lee - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (1):243-261.
Reference to the Best Explanation.Arash Pessian - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (4):363-374.

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