Cognition 171: 108-111 (2018)

Jincai Li
Shanghai JiaoTong University
Jincai Li
Shanghai JiaoTong University
Past work has shown systematic differences between Easterners' and Westerners' intuitions about the reference of proper names. Understanding when these differences emerge in development will help us understand their origins. In the present study, we investigate the referential intuitions of English- and Chinese-speaking children and adults in the U.S. and China. Using a truth-value judgment task modeled on Kripke's classic Gödel case, we find that the cross-cultural differences are already in place at age seven. Thus, these differences cannot be attributed to later education or enculturation. Instead, they must stem from differences that are present in early childhood. We consider alternate theories of reference that are compatible with these findings and discuss the possibility that the cross-cultural differences reflect differences in perspective-taking strategies.
Keywords Proper names  Descriptivist theory  Causal-historical theory  Referential intuitions  Cross-cultural differences  Development
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DOI 10.1016/j.cognition.2017.10.022
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References found in this work BETA

On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 1905 - Mind 14 (56):479-493.
The Causal Theory of Names.Gareth Evans - 1973 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 47 (1):187–208.
Proper Names.John R. Searle - 1958 - Mind 67 (266):166-173.
Sense and Reference.Gottlob Frege - 1948 - Philosophical Review 57 (3):209-230.

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Citations of this work BETA

Kripkeans of the World, Unite!Farjana Islam & Giosuè Baggio - 2020 - Journal of Semantics 37 (2):297-309.

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