Results for 'Negative Existentials'

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  1. Fictional Realism and Negative Existentials.Tatjana von Solodkoff - 2014 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Genoveva Martí (eds.), Empty Representations: Reference and Non-Existence. Oxford University Press. pp. 333-352.
    In this paper I confront what I take to be the crucial challenge for fictional realism, i.e. the view that fictional characters exist. This is the problem of accounting for the intuition that corresponding negative existentials such as ‘Sherlock Holmes does not exist’ are true (when, given fictional realism, taken literally they seem false). I advance a novel and detailed form of the response according to which we take them to mean variants of such claims as: there is (...)
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  2.  14
    A Modulation Account of Negative Existentials.David C. Spewak Jr - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (1):227-245.
    Fictional characters present a problem for semantic theorists. One approach to this problem has been to maintain realism regarding fictional characters, that is to claim that fictional characters exist. In this way names originating from fiction have designata. On this approach the problem of negative existentials is more pressing than it might otherwise be since an explanation must be given as to why we judge them true when the names occurring within them designate existing objects. So, realists must (...)
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  3. The Problem of Negative Existentials, Inadvertently Solved.Greg Ray - 2014 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Genoveva Martí (eds.), Empty Representations: Reference and Non-Existence. Oxford University Press. pp. 262-274.
    The problem of negative existentials is one of the classic problems in philosophy of language. Latter-day developments in semantics resolved this problem without our help, but due to accidents of history no one noticed.
     
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  4. Non‐Standard Neutral Free Logic, Empty Names and Negative Existentials.Dolf Rami - manuscript
    In this paper I am concerned with an analysis of negative existential sentences that contain proper names only by using negative or neutral free logic. I will compare different versions of neutral free logic with the standard system of negative free logic (Burge, Sainsbury) and aim to defend my version of neutral free logic that I have labeled non-standard neutral free logic.
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  5.  59
    Negative Existentials in Metaphysical Debate.Alexis Burgess - 2012 - Metaphilosophy 43 (3):221-234.
    There are statements of the form “There are no Fs” that we would like to count as true, yet it is hard to see how they could be true. The relevant Fs are general terms that we take to be semantically fundamental or primitive, especially those native to metaphysical discourse. A case can be made the problem is no less difficult than the corresponding problem for singular terms.
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  6.  36
    Quantified Negative Existentials.Frederick Kroon - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (2):149–164.
    This paper suggests that quantified negative existentials about fiction—statements of the form “There are some / many / etc. Fs in work W who don't exist”—offer a serious challenge to the theorist of fiction: more serious, in a number of ways, that singular negative existentials. I argue that the temptation to think that only a realist semantics of such statements is plausible should be resisted. There are numerous quantified negative existentials found in other areas (...)
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  7.  49
    The Problem of Negative Existentials Does Not Exist: A Case for Dynamic Semantics.Lenny Clapp - 2009 - Journal of Pragmatics 41 (7):1422-1434.
    The problem of negative existentials arises because utterances of such sentences have the paradoxical feature of denying what they presuppose, thus undermining their own truth. There are only two general strategies for solving the problem within the constraints traditional static semantics, and both strategies attempt to explain away this paradoxical feature. I argue that both strategies are fundamentally flawed, and that an adequate account of negative existentials must countenance, and not explain away, this paradoxical feature. Moreover, (...)
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  8.  34
    Negative Existentials, Omniscience, and Cosmic Luck.Christopher Hughes - 1998 - Religious Studies 34 (4):375-401.
    Suppose there are possible worlds in which God exists but Anselm does not. Then (I argue) there are possible worlds in which Anselm does not exist, but God cannot even entertain the thought that he does not. In such worlds Anselm does not exist, but God does not know that. This, I argue, is incompatible with (a straightforward construal of) the doctrine of God's essential omniscience. Considerations involving negative existentials also call into question a certain picture of creation, (...)
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  9. Can Negative Existentials Be Referentially Vindicated?Alberto Voltolini - 1994 - Lingua E Stile 29:397-419.
    In The Theory of Objects, Alexius Meinong used true negative existentials to argue in favour of non-existent objects: in order to assert veridically that an object O does not exist, one has to refer to O itself1. From Bertrand Russell's "On Denoting" onwards, it has become a commonplace to say that this argument does not work. For every sentence apparently concerning non-existents one can provide a paraphrase which eliminates the singular term contained in it and therefore dispels the (...)
     
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  10. Quantified Negative Existentials.Kroon Frederick - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (2):149-164.
    This paper suggests that quantified negative existentials about fiction—statements of the form “There are some / many / etc. Fs in work W who don't exist”—offer a serious challenge to the theorist of fiction: more serious, in a number of ways, that singular negative existentials. I argue that the temptation to think that only a realist semantics of such statements is plausible should be resisted. There are numerous quantified negative existentials found in other areas (...)
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  11. The Problem of Negative Existentials.Karen Riley - manuscript
    One way to solve the problem of negative existentials is to posit a realm of non–existent objects. Then the name ‘Sherlock Holmes’ could refer to a non–existent object, and a statement of (1).
     
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  12. Postscript to ”Things Qua Truthmakers': Negative Existentials.David Lewis & Gideon Rosen - 2003 - In Hallvard Lillehammer & Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra (eds.), Real Metaphysics: Essays in Honour of D. H. Mellor. Routledge. pp. 39-42.
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  13.  94
    Restricted Quantification, Negative Existentials, and Fiction.Kendall L. Walton - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (2):239–242.
    Realist theories about fictional entities must explain the fact that, in ordinary contexts people deny, apparently in all seriousness, that there are such things as the Big Bad Wolf and Santa Claus. The usual explanation treats these denials as involving restricted quantification: The speaker is said to be denying only that the Big Bad Wolf and Santa Claus are to be found among real or actual things, not that there are no such things at all. This is unconvincing. The denials (...)
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  14. Negative Existentials.Richard L. Cartwright - 1960 - Journal of Philosophy 57 (20/21):629-639.
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  15. Descriptions, Linguistic Topic/Comment, and Negative Existentials: A Case Study in the Application of Linguistic Theory to Problems in the Philosophy of Language.Jay Atlas - 2004 - In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Oxford University Press. pp. 342--360.
  16.  10
    The Millian Theory of Names and the Problems of Negative Existentials and Non-Referring Names.Thomas C. Ryckman - 1988 - In D. F. Austin (ed.), Philosophical Analysis. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 241--249.
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  17.  20
    Parmenides' Paradox: Negative Reference and Negative Existentials.J. K. Swindler - 1980 - Review of Metaphysics 33 (4):727 - 744.
  18. Restricted Quantification, Negative Existentials, and Fiction.L. Walton Kendall - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (2):239-242.
    Realist theories about fictional entities must explain the fact that, in ordinary contexts people deny, apparently in all seriousness, that there are such things as the Big Bad Wolf and Santa Claus. The usual explanation treats these denials as involving restricted quantification: The speaker is said to be denying only that the Big Bad Wolf and Santa Claus are to be found among real or actual things, not that there are no such things at all. This is unconvincing. The denials (...)
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  19.  39
    Negative Reason Existentials.Justin Snedegar - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):108-116.
    (Schroeder 2007) presents a puzzle about negative reason existentials—claims like ‘There's no reason to cry over spilled milk’. Some of these claims are intuitively true, but we also seem to be committed to the existence of the very reasons that are said not to exist. I argue that Schroeder's own pragmatic solution to this puzzle is unsatisfactory, and propose my own based on a contrastive account of reasons, according to which reasons are fundamentally reasons for one thing rather (...)
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  20. The World and Truth About What Is Not.Noël B. Saenz - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (254):82-98.
    Truthmaker says that things, broadly construed, are the ontological grounds of truth and, therefore, that things make truths true. Recently, there have been a number of arguments purporting to show that if one embraces Truthmaker, then one ought to embrace Truthmaker Maximalism—the view that all non-analytic propositions have truthmakers. But then if one embraces Truthmaker, one ought to think that negative existentials have truthmakers. I argue that this is false. I begin by arguing that recent attempts by Ross (...)
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  21. Unstable Truthmaking.Jamin Asay & Sam Baron - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):230-238.
    Recent discussion of the problem of negative existentials for truthmaker theory suggests a modest solution to the problem: fully general negative truths like do not require truthmakers, whereas partially general negative truths like do. This modest solution provides a third alternative to the two standard solutions to the problem of negative existentials: the endorsement of truthmaker gaps, and the appeal to contentious ontological posits. We argue that this modest, middle-ground position is inconsistent with certain (...)
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  22. Mustn't Whatever is Referred to Exist?Gilbert Plumer - 1989 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 27 (4):511-528.
    Some hold that proper names and indexicals are “Kaplan rigid”: they designate their designata even in worlds where the designata don’t exist. An argument they give for this is based on the analogy between time and modality. It is shown how this argument gains forcefulness at the expense of carefulness. Then the argument is criticized as forming a part of an inconsistent philosophical framework, the one with which David Kaplan and others operate. An alternative account of a certain class of (...)
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    No Identity Without an Entity.Luke Manning - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1):279-305.
    Peter Geach's puzzle of intentional identity is to explain how the claim ‘Hob thinks a witch has blighted Bob's mare, and Nob wonders whether she killed Cob's sow’ is compatible with there being no such witch. I clarify the puzzle and reduce it to the familiar problem of negative existentials. That problem is a paradox of representations that seem to include denials of commitment , to carry commitment to what they deny commitment to, and to be true. The (...)
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  24. Conservative Meinongianism.T. Parent - manuscript
    David Lewis acclimated us to talk of “nonactual concreta that exist,” regarding talking donkeys and the like. I shall argue that this was not for the best, and try to normalize a way of describing them as “actual concreta that do not exist.” The basis of this is a defense of the Meinongian thesis “there are objects of which it is true that there are no such objects,” re: fictitious and illusory objects. I first formulate the problem of negative (...)
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  25.  91
    Kaplan Rigidity, Time, and Modality.Gilbert Plumer - 1988 - Logique Et Analyse 31 (123-124):329-335.
    Joseph Almog says concerning “a certain locus where Quine doesn’t exist…qua evaluation locus, we take to it [singular] propositions involving Quine [as a constituent] which we have generated in our generation locus.” This seems to be either murder, or worse, self-contradiction. It presumes that certain designators designate their designata even at loci where the designata do not exist, i.e., the designators have “Kaplan rigidity.” Against this view, this paper argues that negative existentials such as “Quine does not exist” (...)
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    Fazendo de conta que vulcano não existe.Sagid Salles - 2015 - Philósophos - Revista de Filosofia 20 (2):171-196.
    My goal in this paper is to present and analyze some versions of make-believe theories for singular negative existentials. I will quickly present Evans’ perspective and, in greater detail, the perspectives of Kroon and Walton. I will claim that neither Evans nor Walton provide the right account of the phenomenon of singular negative existentials, and that Kroon’s perspective is better than both. However, I will argue that the three theories have the same problem, which I call (...)
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  27.  10
    The Logical Form of Negative Action Sentences.Jonathan D. Payton - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (6):855-876.
    It is typically assumed that actions are events, but there is a growing consensus that negative actions, like omissions and refrainments, are not events, but absences thereof. If so, then we must either deny the obvious, that we can exercise our agency by omitting and refrainment, or give up on event-based theories of agency. I trace the consensus to the assumption that negative action sentences are negative-existentials, and argue that this is false. The best analysis of (...)
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  28. What is the Problem of Non-Existence?Tim Crane - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (3):417-434.
    It is widely held that there is a problem of talking about or otherwise representing things that not exist. But what exactly is this problem? This paper presents a formulation of the problem in terms of the conflict between the fact that there are truths about non-existent things and the fact that truths must be answerable to reality, how things are. Given this, the problem of singular negative existential statements is no longer the central or most difficult aspect of (...)
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  29. Is There a Dilemma for the Truthmaker Non-Maximalist?Alexander Skiles - 2014 - Synthese 191 (15):3649-3659.
    Mark Jago has presented a dilemma for truthmaker non-maximalism—the thesis that some but not all truths require truthmakers. The dilemma arises because some truths that do not require truthmakers by the non-maximalist’s lights (e.g., that Santa Claus does not exist) are necessitated by truths that do (e.g., that Barack Obama knows that Santa Claus does not exist). According to Jago, the non-maximalist can supply a truthmaker for such a truth only by conceding the primary motivation for the view: that it (...)
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    Change, Difference, and Orthodox Truthmaker Theory.Timothy Pawl - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):539-550.
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Ahead of Print.
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    Linguistic Puzzles and Semantic Pretence.James A. Woodbridge & Bradley Armour-Garb - 2009 - In Sarah Sawyer (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Language. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 250-284.
    In this paper, we set out what we see as a novel, and very promising, approach to resolving a number of the familiar linguistic puzzles that provide philosophy of language with much of its subject matter. The approach we promote postulates semantic pretense at work where these puzzles arise. We begin by briefly cataloging the relevant dilemmas. Then, after introducing the pretense approach, we indicate how it promises to handle these putatively intractable problems. We then consider a number of objections (...)
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  32.  24
    Flaws in Dummett’s Syntactical Account of Singular Terms.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    Dummett defines a ‘predicate’ as that which combines with one or more singular terms to form a sentence. His account of ‘singular term’ is syntactical, involving three necessary conditions. He discusses a fourth, ‘Aristotelian’, criterion before propounding a criterion of predicate quantification which he claims to be superior to it. He tentatively proposes that the three necessary conditions plus the criterion of predicate quantification yield sufficient conditions for being a singular term. I show that Dummett’s necessary conditions fail with regard (...)
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  33. The Least Discerning and Most Promiscuous Truthmaker.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):307 - 324.
    I argue that the one and only truthmaker is the world. This view can be seen as arisingfrom (i) the view that truthmaking is a relation of grounding holding between true propositions and fundamental entities, together with (ii) the view that the world is the one and only fundamental entity. I argue that this view provides an elegant and economical account of the truthmakers, while solving the problem of negative existentials, in a way that proves ontologically revealing.
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    We Don't Need No Explanation.Jamin Asay - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Explanation has played myriad roles in truthmaker theory. The notion of explanation is sometimes thought to give content to the very idea of truthmaking, and is sometimes used as a weapon to undermine the entire point of truthmaker theory. I argue that the notion of explanation is dialectically useless in truthmaker theory: while it's true that truthmaking offers a form of explanation, this claim is theoretically unilluminating, and leaves truthmaker theorists vulnerable to various kinds of attack. I advocate an alternative (...)
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  35. Truth and Fundamentality: On Merricks's Truth and Ontology.Jonathan Schaffer - 2008 - Philosophical Books 49 (4):302-316.
    Truth and Ontology is a lively book, brimming with arguments, and drawing the reader towards the radical conclusion that what is true does not depend on what there is. If there is a central line of argument, it is that the best account of truthmaking requires truths to be about their truthmakers, but negative existentials, modals, and claims about the past and future are not about what is, but rather about what is not, what might be, and what (...)
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  36. Pretense, Existence, and Fictional Objects.Anthony Everett - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):56–80.
    There has recently been considerable interest in accounts of fiction which treat fictional characters as abstract objects. In this paper I argue against this view. More precisely I argue that such accounts are unable to accommodate our intuitions that fictional negative existentials such as “Raskolnikov doesn’t exist” are true. I offer a general argument to this effect and then consider, but reject, some of the accounts of fictional negative existentials offered by abstract object theorists. I then (...)
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  37. The Autism Objection to Pretence Theories.David Liggins - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (241):764-782.
    A pretence theory of a discourse is one which claims that we do not believe or assert the propositions expressed by the sentences we utter when taking part in the discourse: instead, we are speaking from within a pretence. Jason Stanley argues that if a pretence account of a discourse is correct, people with autism should be incapable of successful participation in it; but since people with autism are capable of participiating successfully in the discourses which pretence theorists aim to (...)
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  38. "Truths Containing Empty Names".Michael McKinsey - 2016 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk & Luis Fernandez Moreno (eds.), Philosophical Approaches to Proper Names. Peter Lang. pp. 175-202.
    Abstract. On the Direct Reference thesis, proper names are what I call ‘genuine terms’, terms whose sole semantic contributions to the propositions expressed by their use are the terms’ semantic referents. But unless qualified, this thesis implies the false consequence that sentences containing names that fail to refer can never express true or false propositions. (Consider ‘The ancient Greeks worshipped Zeus’, for instance.) I suggest that while names are typically and fundamentally used as genuine terms, there is a small class (...)
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  39.  3
    ‘Call Me Ishmael’: Fiction and Direct Reference.Gerald Vision - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics:ayx029.
    Whereas it appears that direct, or causal, theories dominate philosophy’s theories of reference, and it is widely held that they present an insuperable obstacle for a fictional character’s name to refer, I attempt to show not only that they can be easily made compatible with such theories, but that reference to the fictional fits rather smoothly into the distinctive articles of current theories of direct reference. However, the issues about reference to fictional characters goes well beyond those points, so its (...)
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    Comments on Merricks's Truth and Ontology.Ross P. Cameron - 2008 - Philosophical Books 49 (4):292-301.
    In his Truth and Ontology,1 Trenton Merricks argues against the truthmaker principle: Truthmaker: ∀p( p → ∃xxᮀ(Exx → p)). Truthmaker says that for any true proposition, there are some things whose existence guarantees the truth of that proposition: that is, some things which couldn’t all exist and the proposition fail to be true. His main arguments against Truthmaker are that there cannot be satisfactory truthmakers for (i) negative existentials, (ii) modal truths, (iii) truths about the past (given that (...)
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  41.  25
    Fictional Names and Literary Characters: A Defence of Abstractism.Eleonora Orlando - 2016 - Theoria 31 (2):143-158.
    This paper is focused on the abstractist theory of fiction, namely, the semantic theory according to which fictional names refer to abstract entities. Two semantic problems that arise in relation to that position are analysed: the first is the problem of accounting for the intuitive truth of typically fictive uses of statements containing fictional names; the second is the one of explaining some problematic metafictive uses, in particular, the use of intuitively true negative existentials.
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  42. Gongsun Long on What is Not: Steps Toward the Deciphering of The.Jean-Paul Reding - 2002 - Philosophy East and West 52 (2):190-206.
    The Zhiwulun, chapter 3 of the Gongsunlongzi, attributed to the Sophist Gongsun Long (third century B.C.), is generally interpreted as a theoretical treatise on the relations between words and things. A new reading proceeds from the hypothesis that the Zhiwulun, like the White Horse Treatise, is another logical puzzle. Its theme is the problem of pointing out things that do not exist in the world or, put in modern terms, the problem of negative existentials. The Zhiwulun is a (...)
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  43.  82
    Why and How to Fill an Unfilled Proposition.Samuel C. Rickless - 2012 - Theoria 78 (1):6-25.
    There are two major semantic theories of proper names: Semantic Descriptivism and Direct Reference. According to Semantic Descriptivism, the semantic content of a proper name N for a speaker S is identical to the semantic content of a definite description “the F” that the speaker associates with the name. According to Direct Reference, the semantic content of a proper name is identical to its referent. Semantic Descriptivism suffers from a number of drawbacks first pointed out by Donnellan (1970) and Kripke (...)
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  44.  90
    On Kripke and Statements.G. W. Fitch - 2004 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 28 (1):295–308.
    I will focus on what seems to be a problem for Kripke’s position with respect to certain necessary a posteriori truths and true negative existentials. I shall tentatively suggest that within Kripke’s work a solution to the problem in question can be found provided one is willing to distinguish statements from propositions.
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    Empty Thoughts and Vicarious Thoughts in the Mental File Framework.François Recanati - 2014 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):1-11.
    Mental files have a referential role—they serve to think about objects in the world—but they also have a meta-representational role: when ‘indexed’, they serve to represent how other subjects think about objects in the world. This additional, meta-representational function of files is invoked to shed light on the uses of empty singular terms in negative existentials and pseudo-singular attitude ascriptions. -/- For a longer version see "Empty Singular Terms in the Mental-File Framework" In Manuel Garcia-Carpintero & Genoveva Marti (...)
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  46.  60
    Names, Fictional Names, and 'Really'.R. M. Sainsbury - 1999 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 73 (1):243–269.
    [R. M. Sainsbury] Evans argued that most ordinary proper names were Russellian: to suppose that they have no bearer is to suppose that they have no meaning. The first part of this paper addresses Evans's arguments, and finds them wanting. Evans also claimed that the logical form of some negative existential sentences involves 'really' (e.g. 'Hamlet didn't really exist'). One might be tempted by the view, even if one did not accept its Russellian motivation. However, I suggest that Evans (...)
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    Not a Total Failure.Jonathan Tallant - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (4):795-810.
    In this paper I offer a partial defence of Armstrong’s totality relation as a solution to the problem of so-called “negative existentials”.
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  48.  47
    Names, Fictional Names and 'Really': David Wiggins.David Wiggins - 1999 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 73 (1):271–286.
    [R. M. Sainsbury] Evans argued that most ordinary proper names were Russellian: to suppose that they have no bearer is to suppose that they have no meaning. The first part of this paper addresses Evans's arguments, and finds them wanting. Evans also claimed that the logical form of some negative existential sentences involves 'really' (e.g. 'Hamlet didn't really exist'). One might be tempted by the view, even if one did not accept its Russellian motivation. However, I suggest that Evans (...)
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  49. Reading, Writing, and Speech Act Theory: Prolegomena to Any Future Logic of Fiction.Peter Alward - unknown
    meaning of a proper name is simply its referent.[1] This thesis, however, brings with it a whole host of problems. One particularly thorny difficulty is that of negative existentials, sentences of the form ‘N does not exist’ (where ‘N’ is a proper name). Intuitively, some such sentences are true, but the direct reference theory seems to imply that they must be either false or meaningless. After all, if the meaning of a name is just its referent, then a (...)
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  50.  11
    Who Wants To Be a Russellian About Names?Siu-Fan Lee - 2014 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), Philosophy of Language and Linguistics: The Legacy of Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein. De Gruyter. pp. 161-180.
    Russell had two theories of names and one theory of description. Logically proper names are Millian names, which have only denotation but no connotation. Ordinary names are not genuine names but disguised definite descriptions subject to quantificational analyses. Only by asserting that ordinary names are definite descriptions could Russell motivate his theory of description to solve three problems for Millian names, namely, Frege’s puzzle, empty reference and negative existentials. Critics usually discuss Russell’s theories of names and his theory (...)
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