Recovering What Is Said With Empty Names

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (2):239-273 (2010)
Authors
Gualtiero Piccinini
University of Missouri, St. Louis
Abstract
As our data will show, negative existential sentences containing socalled empty names evoke the same strong semantic intuitions in ordinary speakers and philosophers alike.Santa Claus does not exist.Superman does not exist.Clark Kent does not exist.Uttering the sentences in (1) seems to say something truth-evaluable, to say something true, and to say something different for each sentence. A semantic theory ought to explain these semantic intuitions.The intuitions elicited by (1) are in apparent conflict with the Millian view of proper names. According to Millianism, the meaning (or 'semantic value') of a proper name is just its referent. But empty names, such as 'Santa Claus' and 'Superman', appear to lack a ..
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI 10.1353/cjp.2010.0005
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References found in this work BETA

Minimal Semantics.Emma Borg - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Context and Logical Form.Jason Stanley - 2000 - Linguistics and Philosophy 23 (4):391--434.
Conversational Impliciture.Kent Bach - 1994 - Mind and Language 9 (2):124-162.
Literal Meaning.François Recanati - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):487-492.

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Citations of this work BETA

Russellians Can Have a No Proposition View of Empty Names.Thomas Hodgson - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-22.
Pragmatics of No Reference.Seyed N. Mousavian - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (1):95-116.
Empty Names and Pragmatic Millianism.Seyed N. Mousavian - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):49-58.

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