Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):707 - 726 (2011)
Fictional names present unique challenges for semantic theories of proper names, challenges strong enough to warrant an account of names different from the standard treatment. The theory developed in this paper is motivated by a puzzle that depends on four assumptions: our intuitive assessment of the truth values of certain sentences, the most straightforward treatment of their syntactic structure, semantic compositionality, and metaphysical scruples strong enough to rule out fictional entities, at least. It is shown that these four assumptions, taken together, are inconsistent with referentialism, the common view that names are uniformly associated with ordinary individuals as their semantic value. Instead, the view presented here interprets names as context-sensitive expressions, associated in a context of utterance with a particular act of introduction, or dubbing, which is then used to determine their semantic value. Some dubbings are referential, which associate names with ordinary individuals as their semantic values; others are fictional, which associate names, instead, with sets of properties. Since the semantic values of names can be of different sorts, the semantic rule interpreting predication must be complex as well. In the body of the paper, I show how this new treatment of names allows us to solve our original puzzle. I defend the complexity of the semantic predication rule, and address additional worries about ontological commitment
|Keywords||Reference Proper names Fictional names Empty names|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Citations of this work BETA
The Use-Conditional Indexical Conception of Proper Names.Dolf Rami - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):119-150.
How to Tell Whether Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God.Tomas Bogardus & Mallorie Urban - 2017 - Faith and Philosophy 34 (2):176-200.
Similar books and articles
Description, Disagreement, and Fictional Names.Peter Alward - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):423-448.
Some Remarks on an Implementation of the Burgean View of Proper Names.Yu Izumi - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39:79-88.
Recovering What Is Said With Empty Names.Gualtiero Piccinini & Sam Scott - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (2):239-273.
Fictional Reports.Fiora Salis - 2010 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 25 (2):175-185.
Causality, Referring, and Proper Names.David S. Schwarz - 1978 - Linguistics and Philosophy 2 (2):225 - 233.
On the Linguistic Complexity of Proper Names.Ora Matushansky - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (5):573-627.
The Semantics of Fictional Names.Fred Adams, Gary Fuller & Robert Stecker - 1997 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (2):128–148.
Proper Names and Persons: Peirce's Semiotic Consideration of Proper Names.Eric Thomas Weber - 2008 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 44 (2):pp. 346-362.
Added to index2010-10-17
Total downloads220 ( #17,645 of 2,177,961 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #39,604 of 2,177,961 )
How can I increase my downloads?