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ERIC Number: ED549093
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 156
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-4673-5
Proper Names: Reference and Attribution
Maumus, Michael Fletcher
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, City University of New York
In the wake of Saul Kripke's landmark "Naming and Necessity," the claim that proper names are directly referential expressions devoid of descriptive content has come to verge on philosophical commonplace. Nevertheless, the return to a purely referential semantics for proper names has coincided with the resurgence of the very puzzles which motivated so-called description theories of proper names in the first place--to wit, the failure of substitutivity for co-referential names in propositional attitude ascriptions, the informativeness of true identity statements involving co-referential names, and the meaningfulness of negative existential discourse. In the following I argue in favor of what I dub Metalinguistic Description Theory, which holds that the meaning of typical uses of the name type "NN" to be given by the definite description "the phi bearer of 'NN'" (where phi is a contextually determined sortal which speakers use to disambiguate the reference of names with multiple bearers). This analysis, I contend, provides an ultimately novel solution to the principal puzzles for the Direct Reference theory of proper names which, nevertheless, avoids the devastating arguments which felled the classical description theories of Frege and Russell. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A