Proper names

R. M. Sainsbury

in Reference without Referents

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780199241804
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602696 | DOI:
 Proper names

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The sources of the attractiveness of descriptivism and of direct reference theories are identified and shown to be wanting. The intermediate position, RWR, is one in which a proper name may or may not have a bearer, though if it has one it will have it essentially (holding semantic facts constant), and if it lacks one this will also be essential. A full development of the view makes use of the notion of the practice of using a name (or, more generally, a word), and a preliminary attempt is made to identify the main components of the concept of a name-using practice and to say something constructive about their character.

Keywords: causal chain; descriptivist theories of names; Evans; Jackson; name-using practice; referential intentions; Russellian names; semantic category; Vulcan

Chapter.  15070 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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