Pragmatics of No Reference

Mind and Language 30 (1):95-116 (2015)

Seyed N. Mousavian
The Institute for Research In Fundamental Sciences (IPM)
According to Millianism, the semantic content of a proper name is its semantic referent. Many names, however, lack semantic referent; hence, so-called ‘empty’ names. Empty names raise various problems for Millianism. T.C. Ryckman, Fred Adams, Garry Fuller, Robert Stecker, Kenneth Taylor, and Nicole Wyatt, among others, have defended Millianism against these problems by appeal to pragmatics . I introduce Millianism and the problems raised by empty names for the view, then examine Pragmatic Millianism , its strength, its varieties, and why the previous arguments against PM do not succeed. I then provide my argument against PM: the view oversimplifies the complex phenomenon of association between names and descriptions. I discuss an objection to my argument and rebut that. Finally, I try to draw an outline of a positive view
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DOI 10.1111/mila.12073
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References found in this work BETA

Reference and Reflexivity.John Perry - 2001 - Center for the Study of Language and Inf.
Nonexistence.Nathan Salmon - 1998 - Noûs 32 (3):277-319.

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Russellians Can Have a No Proposition View of Empty Names.Thomas Hodgson - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (7):670-691.

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