Dissertation, King's College London (2016)

Authors
Peter Ridley
King's College London
Abstract
I argue, in this thesis, that proper name reference is a wholly pragmatic phenomenon. The reference of a proper name is neither constitutive of, nor determined by, the semantic content of that name, but is determined, on an occasion of use, by pragmatic factors. The majority of views in the literature on proper name reference claim that reference is in some way determined by the semantics of the name, either because their reference simply constitutes their semantics (which generally requires a very fine-grained individuation of names), or because names have an indexical-like semantics that returns a referent given certain specific contextual parameters. I discuss and criticize these views in detail, arguing, essentially, in both cases, that there can be no determinate criteria for reference determination—a claim required by both types of semantic view. I also consider a less common view on proper name reference: that it is determined wholly by speakers’ intentions. I argue that the most plausible version of this view—a strong neo-Gricean position whereby all utterance content is determined by the communicative intentions of the speaker—is implausible in light of psychological data. In the positive part of my thesis, I develop a pragmatic view of proper name reference that is influenced primarily by the work of Charles Travis. I argue that the reference of proper names can only be satisfactorily accounted for by claiming that reference occurs not at the level of word meaning, but at the pragmatic level, on an occasion of utterance. I claim that the contextual mechanisms that determine the reference of a name on an occasion are the same kinds of thing that determine the truth-values of utterances according to Travis. Thus, names are, effectively, occasion sensitive in the way that Travis claims predicates and sentences (amongst other expressions) are. Finally, I discuss how further research might address how my pragmatic view of reference affects traditional issues in the literature on names, and the consequences of the view for the semantics of names.
Keywords Philosophy of language  Proper names  Semantics  Pragmatics  Radical contextualism  Occasion sensitivity  Context-dependence  Travis  Direct reference  Mark Sainsbury  Francois Recanati
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.
Studies in the Way of Words.H. P. Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

View all 153 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Realpolitik of Reference.Brian Epstein - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):1–20.
Identifikácia Jednotlivín, Referencia a Vlastné Mená.Marián Zouhar - 1999 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 6 (4):338-357.
The Use-Conditional Indexical Conception of Proper Names.Dolf Rami - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):119-150.
Reference and Response.Louis deRosset - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):19-36.
Sense-Only-Signs: Frege on Fictional Proper Names.Mark Textor - 2011 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 82 (1):375-400.
Proper Names and Practices: On Reference Without Referents.Mark Textor - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):105-118.
Troubles with Direct Reference.Pierre Baumann - 2012 - Fenomenologia. Diálogos Possíveis Campinas: Alínea/Goiânia: Editora da Puc Goiás 93:33-51.
Direct Reference and Singular Propositions.Matthew Davidson - 2000 - American Philosophical Quarterly 37 (3):285-300.
Proper Names in Reference: Beyond Searle and Kripke.Daniel D. Novotný - 2005 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 12 (1-3):241-259.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-03-31

Total views
256 ( #32,591 of 2,403,516 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
82 ( #8,142 of 2,403,516 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes