Mind 125 (497):145-175 (2016)

Authors
N. Ángel Pinillos
Arizona State University
Ron Mallon
Washington University in St. Louis
Shaun Nichols
Cornell University
Abstract
One of the central debates in the philosophy of language is that between defenders of the causal-historical and descriptivist theories of reference. Most philosophers involved in the debate support one or the other of the theories. Building on recent experimental work in semantics, we argue that there is a sense in which both theories are correct. In particular, we defend the view that natural kind terms can sometimes take on a causal-historical reading and at other times take on a descriptivist reading. The meaning will shift depending on the conversational setting. The theoretical view has roots in work by Kitcher. We present some original experiments that support the thesis
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzv196
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References found in this work BETA

Reference and Definite Descriptions.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.

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Citations of this work BETA

Water is and is Not H 2 O.Kevin P. Tobia, George E. Newman & Joshua Knobe - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (2):183-208.
Skepticism About Moral Responsibility.Gregg D. Caruso - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2018):1-81.
Must We Measure What We Mean?Nat Hansen - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (8):785-815.

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