Chapter

Et tu, ‘Brute’?

John Hawthorne and David Manley

in The Reference Book

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693672
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739002 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693672.003.0006
Et tu, ‘Brute’?

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This chapter considers demonstratives and proper names. It begins by arguing for a semantically unified treatment of demonstratives on which they are specific existentials (like specific indefinites and definite descriptions) but have their own distinctive presuppositional profile. Next, the chapter turns to the category of proper names and their various uses. The authors acknowledge that there are shortcomings to semantic orthodoxy, which treats proper names as paradigmatically referential tags, and that standard Kripkean modal arguments are ineffectual against the view that all proper names are semantically predicative. However, the authors finally reject the predicative view in favor of a new alternative to semantic orthodoxy—one that fits well with their preferred accounts of various other noun phrases.

Keywords: demonstratives; complex demonstratives; proper names; Millianism; Saul Kripke; predicate view of names

Chapter.  21368 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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