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  1. On Identity Statements: In Defense of a Sui Generis View.Tristan Haze - 2016 - Disputatio 8 (43):269-293.
    This paper is about the meaning and function of identity statements involving proper names. There are two prominent views on this topic, according to which identity statements ascribe a relation: the object-view, on which identity statements ascribe a relation borne by all objects to themselves, and the name-view, on which an identity statement 'a is b' says that the names 'a' and 'b' codesignate. The object- and name-views may seem to exhaust the field. I make a case for treating identity (...)
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  2. A Syncretistic Theory of Proper Names.Alberto Voltolini - 2016 - In A. Bianchi, V. Morato & G. Spolaore (eds.), The Importance of Being Ernesto. Reference, Truth and Logical Form. Padova University Press. pp. 141-164.
    In this paper, I want to show that, far from being incompatible, a Predicate Theory of proper names and the Direct Reference thesis can be combined in a syncretistic account. There are at least three plausible such accounts – one which compares proper names in their referential use to referentially used proper definite descriptions, another one that compares them in this use to demonstratives, and a third one which, although it is as indexicalist as the second one, conceives proper names (...)
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  3. A Counterexample to Variabilism.Mihnea D. I. Capraru - 2016 - Analysis 76 (1):26-29.
    Recent literature contains influential arguments for variabilism, the view that we should understand proper names as analogues not of constants but of variables. In particular, proper names are said to sometimes take semantic values that are not referential but purely general. I present a counter-example to this view.
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  4. Events, Facts and Causation.Bo Rode Meinertsen - 2000 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 76:145-182.
    The paper is concerned with the semantics and metaphysics of events and facts, particularly when they are claimed to be causal relata. I relate these issues to various well-known analyses of causation. The approach to the analysis of events is the property exemplification theory. I defend Kim's fine-grained individuation of events against most of Bennett's objections to it, but agree with Bennett that it is too fine-grained to provide a description of our ordinary thought and talk about events, including causal (...)
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  5. Probably the Charterhouse of Parma Does Not Exist, Possibly Not Even That Parma.Alberto Voltolini - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25):235-261.
    In this paper, I will claim that fictional works apparently about utterly immigrant objects, i.e., real individuals imported in fiction from reality, are instead about fictional individuals that intentionally resemble those real individuals in a significant manner: fictional surrogates of such individuals. Since I also share the realists’ conviction that the remaining fictional works concern native characters, i.e., full-fledged fictional individuals that originate in fiction itself, I will here defend a hyperrealist position according to which fictional works only concern fictional (...)
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  6. Kripke y las descripciones rígidas.Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - 1993 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 19 (1):109-113.
    In this paper I discuss a passage from *Naming and Necessity* where Kripke assumes that the essential properties by means of which a definite description designates are a sufficient condition of its rigidity. I put forward two examples that show the falsity of this assumption. Then I examine the non-rigid character of definite descriptions that designate by means of properties that are sufficient conditions of identity of the objects designated by those descriptions. I conclude that the properties by means of (...)
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  7. How Creationism Supports for Kripke’s Vichianism on Fiction.Alberto Voltolini - 2011 - In F. Lihoreau (ed.), Truth in Fiction. Ontos Verlag. pp. 38--93.
    In this paper, I want to show that a reasonable thesis on truth in fiction, Fictional Vichianism (FV)—according to which fictional truths are true because they are stipulated to be true—can be positively endorsed if one grounds Kripke’s justification for (FV), that traces back to the idea that names used in fiction never refer to concrete real individuals, into a creationist position on fictional entities that allows for a distinction between the pretending and the characterizing use of fiction-involving sentences. Thus, (...)
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  8. The Modified Predicate Theory of Proper Names.Sarah Sawyer - 2009 - In New Waves in Philosophy of Language. London: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 206--225.
    This is a defence of the claim that names are predicates with a demonstrative element in their singular use.
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  9. Identificational Sentences.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Natural Language Semantics 21 (1):43-77.
    Based on the notion of a trope, this paper gives a novel analysis of identificational sentences such as 'this is Mary','this is a beautiful woman', 'this looks like Mary', or 'this is the same lump of clay, but not the same statue as that'.
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  10. Rigidity and Content.Jason Stanley - 1997 - In Richard G. Heck (ed.), Language, Truth, and Logic. Oxford University Press.
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  11. The Tao of Metaphysics.Philipp Keller & Elena Cassetta - 2008 - Swiss Philosophical Preprints.
    We present a unified diagnosis of three well-known puzzles about proper names, based on a new view of the metaphysics of words and proper names in particular adumbrated by David Kaplan in “Words”. While our solution comes at some metaphysical price, we think it is worth being considered a serious contender and may illustrate the promise of taking more seriously the metaphysical foundations of our semantic theories.
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  12. Modality and What is Said.Jason Stanley - 2003 - In John Hawthorne (ed.), Language and Mind. Blackwell. pp. 321--44.
    If, relative to a context, what a sentence says is necessarily true, then what it says must be so. If, relative to a context, what a sentence says is possible, then what it says could be true. Following natural philosophical usage, it would thus seem clear that in assessing an occurrence of a sentence for possibility or necessity, one is assessing what is said by that occurrence. In this paper, I argue that natural philosophical usage misleads here. In assessing an (...)
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Causal Theories of Names
  1. A Pragmatic View of Proper Name Reference.Peter Ridley - 2016 - Dissertation, King's College London
    I argue, in this thesis, that proper name reference is a wholly pragmatic phenomenon. The reference of a proper name is neither constitutive of, nor determined by, the semantic content of that name, but is determined, on an occasion of use, by pragmatic factors. The majority of views in the literature on proper name reference claim that reference is in some way determined by the semantics of the name, either because their reference simply constitutes their semantics (which generally requires a (...)
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  2. Names and Individuals.André Bazzoni - 2016 - In P. Stalmaszczyk & L. F. Moreno (eds.), Philosophical approaches to proper names. Peter Lang. pp. 123-146.
    The fact that names refer to individuals is a basic assumption of referentialist theories of proper names, but the notion of individual is systematically taken for granted in those theories. The present paper follows that basic assumption, but proposes to analyze the notion of individual prior to the development of any semantic theory of proper names. It will be argued that a particular perdurantist conception of individual should be adopted, which distinguishes the notions of individual occurrence, and individual simpliciter. A (...)
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  3. Names Are Predicates.Delia Graff Fara - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):59-117.
    One reason to think that names have a predicate-type semantic value is that they naturally occur in count-noun positions: ‘The Michaels in my building both lost their keys’; ‘I know one incredibly sharp Cecil and one that's incredibly dull’. Predicativism is the view that names uniformly occur as predicates. Predicativism flies in the face of the widely accepted view that names in argument position are referential, whether that be Millian Referentialism, direct-reference theories, or even Fregean Descriptivism. But names are predicates (...)
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  4. Naming and Uncertainty: The Historical-Chain Theory Revised.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2010 - Proceedings of the XXVth Varna International Philosophical School:132-141.
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  5. The Quasi-Verbal Dispute Between Kripke and 'Frege-Russell'.J. P. Smit - manuscript
    Traditional descriptivism and Kripkean causalism are standardly interpreted as rival theories on a single topic. I argue that there is no such shared topic, i.e. that there is no question that they can be interpreted as giving rival answers to. The only way to make sense of the commitment to epistemic transparency that characterizes traditional descriptivism is to interpret Russell and Frege as proposing rival accounts of how to characterize a subject’s beliefs about what names refer to. My argument relies (...)
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  6. Names, Sense and Kripke’s Puzzle.Tim Crane - 1992 - From the Logical Point of View 2:11-26.
    Frege introduced the distinction between sense and reference to account for the information conveyed by identity statements. We can put the point like this: if the meaning of a term is exhausted by what it stands for, then how can 'a =a' and 'a =b' differ in meaning? Yet it seems they do, for someone who understands all the terms involved would not necessarily judge that a =b even though they judged that a =a. It seems that 'a =b' just (...)
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  7. Naming with Necessity (Part of the Dissertation Portfolio Modality, Names and Descriptions).Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2007 - Dissertation, New York University
    In “Naming with Necessity”, it is argued that Kripke’s thesis that proper names are rigid designators is best seen as being motivated by an individual-driven picture of modality, which has two parts. First, inherent in proper-name usage is the expectation that names refer to modally robust individuals: individuals that can sustain modal predications like ‘is necessarily human’. Second, these modally robust individuals are the fundamental building blocks on the basis of which possible worlds should be conceived in a modal semantics (...)
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Demonstrative Theories of Names
  1. A Pragmatic View of Proper Name Reference.Peter Ridley - 2016 - Dissertation, King's College London
    I argue, in this thesis, that proper name reference is a wholly pragmatic phenomenon. The reference of a proper name is neither constitutive of, nor determined by, the semantic content of that name, but is determined, on an occasion of use, by pragmatic factors. The majority of views in the literature on proper name reference claim that reference is in some way determined by the semantics of the name, either because their reference simply constitutes their semantics (which generally requires a (...)
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  2. Deissi, arbitrarietà e disambiguazione. Due approcci a confronto.Artemij Keidan - 2008 - In Artemij Keidan & Luca Alfieri (eds.), Deissi, riferimento, metafora. Questioni classiche di linguistica e filosofia del linguaggio. Firenze University Press. pp. 19-66.
    Two approaches to indexicality are comparatively taken into analysis: John Parry's analytic approach on the one hand, and a sort of Saussure-inspired approach within the domain of Functionalist Linguistics, on the other hand. It is argued that these two approaches do diametrically oppose each other in some important aspects. The notion of Saussurean arbitrariness of reference, opposing the analytic notion of rigid designation, is eventually argued to have a good explanatory power when some ordinary language phenomena are to be explained.
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  3. A Husserlian Theory of Indexicality.Kevin Mulligan & Barry Smith - 1986 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 28 (1):133-163.
    The paper seeks to develop an account of indexical phenomena based on the highly general theory of structure and dependence set forth by Husserl in his Logical Investigations. Husserl here defends an Aristotelian theory of meaning, viewing meanings as species or universals having as their instances certain sorts of concrete meaning acts. Indexical phenomena are seen to involve the combination of such acts of meaning with acts of perception, a thesis here developed in some detail and contrasted with accounts of (...)
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  4. A Relational Theory of the Act.Kevin Mulligan & Barry Smith - 1986 - Topoi 5 (2):115-130.
    ‘What is characteristic of every mental activity’, according to Brentano, is ‘the reference to something as an object. In this respect every mental activity seems to be something relational.’ But what sort of a relation, if any, is our cognitive access to the world? This question – which we shall call Brentano’s question – throws a new light on many of the traditional problems of epistemology. The paper defends a view of perceptual acts as real relations of a subject to (...)
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Descriptive Theories of Names
  1. Termos Singulares Indefinidos: Frege, Russell e a tradição matemática.Daniel Durante Pereira Alves - 2016 - Saberes: Filosofia E Educação (Filosofia Lógica e Metafísica An):33-53.
    É bem conhecida a divergência entre as posições de Gottlob Frege e Bertrand Russell com relação ao tratamento semântico dado a sentenças contendo termos singulares indefinidos, ou seja, termos singulares sem referência ou com referência ambígua, tais como ‘Papai Noel’ ou ‘o atual rei da França’ ou ‘1/0 ’ ou ‘√4’ ou ‘o autor de Principia Mathematica’. Para Frege, as sentenças da linguagem natural que contêm termos indefinidos não formam declarações e portanto não são nem verdadeiras nem falsas. Já para (...)
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  2. Lexical-Rule Predicativism About Names.Aidan Gray - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5549-5569.
    Predicativists hold that proper names have predicate-type semantic values. They face an obvious challenge: in many languages names normally occur as, what appear to be, grammatical arguments. The standard version of predicativism answers this challenge by positing an unpronounced determiner in bare occurrences. I argue that this is a mistake. Predicativists should draw a distinction between two kinds of semantic type—underived semantic type and derived semantic type. The predicativist thesis concerns the underived semantic type of proper names and underdetermines a (...)
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  3. Names in Strange Places.Aidan Gray - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (5):429-472.
    This paper is about how to interpret and evaluate purported evidence for predicativism about proper names. I aim to point out some underappreciated thorny issues and to offer both predicativists and non-predicativists some advice about how best to pursue their respective projects. I hope to establish three related claims: that non-predicativists have to posit relatively exotic, though not entirely implausible, polysemic mechanisms to capture the range of data that predicativists have introduced ; that neither referentialism nor extant versions of predicativism (...)
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  4. A Problem for Predicativism Not Solved by Predicativism.Anders J. Schoubye - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    In 'The Reference Book' (2012), Hawthorne and Manley observe the following contrast between (1) and (2): -/- (1) In every race John won. (2) In every race, the colt won. -/- The name 'John' in (1) must intuitively refer to the same single individual for each race. However, the description 'the colt' in (2) has a co-varying reading, i.e. a reading where for each race it refers to a different colt. This observation is a prima facie problem for proponents of (...)
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  5. Names and Individuals.André Bazzoni - 2016 - In P. Stalmaszczyk & L. F. Moreno (eds.), Philosophical approaches to proper names. Peter Lang. pp. 123-146.
    The fact that names refer to individuals is a basic assumption of referentialist theories of proper names, but the notion of individual is systematically taken for granted in those theories. The present paper follows that basic assumption, but proposes to analyze the notion of individual prior to the development of any semantic theory of proper names. It will be argued that a particular perdurantist conception of individual should be adopted, which distinguishes the notions of individual occurrence, and individual simpliciter. A (...)
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  6. Names Are Predicates.Delia Graff Fara - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):59-117.
    One reason to think that names have a predicate-type semantic value is that they naturally occur in count-noun positions: ‘The Michaels in my building both lost their keys’; ‘I know one incredibly sharp Cecil and one that's incredibly dull’. Predicativism is the view that names uniformly occur as predicates. Predicativism flies in the face of the widely accepted view that names in argument position are referential, whether that be Millian Referentialism, direct-reference theories, or even Fregean Descriptivism. But names are predicates (...)
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  7. Descriptions Which Have Grown Capital Letters.Brian Rabern - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (3):292-319.
    Almost entirely ignored in the linguistic theorising on names and descriptions is a hybrid form of expression which, like definite descriptions, begin with 'the' but which, like proper names, are capitalised and seem to lack descriptive content. These are expressions such as the following, 'the Holy Roman Empire', 'the Mississippi River', or 'the Space Needle'. Such capitalised descriptions are ubiquitous in natural language, but to which linguistic categories do they belong? Are they simply proper names? Or are they definite descriptions (...)
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  8. Searle on Analyticity, Necessity, and Proper Names.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2012 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19 (2):109-136.
    My aim is to show that once we appreciate how Searle (1958) fills in the details of his account of proper names – which I will dub the presuppositional view – and how we might supplement it further, we are in for a twofold discovery. First, Searle’s account is crucially unlike the so-called cluster-of-descriptions view, which many philosophers take Searle to have held. Second, the presuppositional view he did hold is interesting, plausible, and worthy of serious reconsideration. The idea that (...)
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  9. The Quasi-Verbal Dispute Between Kripke and 'Frege-Russell'.J. P. Smit - manuscript
    Traditional descriptivism and Kripkean causalism are standardly interpreted as rival theories on a single topic. I argue that there is no such shared topic, i.e. that there is no question that they can be interpreted as giving rival answers to. The only way to make sense of the commitment to epistemic transparency that characterizes traditional descriptivism is to interpret Russell and Frege as proposing rival accounts of how to characterize a subject’s beliefs about what names refer to. My argument relies (...)
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  10. Descriptive Names and Shifty Characters: A Context-Sensitive Account.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Standard rigid designator accounts of a name’s meaning have trouble accommodating what I will call a descriptive name’s “shifty” character -- its tendency to shift its referent over time in response to a discovery that the conventional referent of that name does not satisfy the description with which that name was introduced. I offer a variant of Kripke’s historical semantic theory of how names function, a variant that can accommodate the character of descriptive names while maintaining rigidity for proper names. (...)
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  11. Natural Phenomenon Terms.Richard Gray - 2006 - Analysis 66 (2):141–148.
    In lecture III of Naming and Necessity, Kripke extends his claim that names are non-descriptive to natural kind terms, and in so doing includes a brief supporting discussion of terms for natural phenomena, in particular the terms ‘light’ and ‘heat’. Whilst natural kind terms continue to feature centrally in the recent literature, natural phenomenon terms have barely figured. The purpose of the present paper is to show how the apparent similarities between natural kind terms and the natural phenomenon terms on (...)
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Empty Names
  1. A New Puzzle for Phenomenal Intentionality.Peter Clutton & Alexander Sandgren - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    Phenomenal intentionality theories have recently enjoyed significant attention. According to these theories, the intentionality of a mental representation (what it is about) crucially depends on its phenomenal features. We present a new puzzle for these theories, involving a phenomenon called ‘intentional identity’, or ‘co-intentionality’. Co-intentionality is a ubiquitous intentional phenomenon that involves tracking things even when there is no concrete thing being tracked. We suggest that phenomenal intentionality theories need to either develop new uniquely phenomenal resources for handling the puzzle, (...)
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  2. Semantic Verbs Are Intensional Transitives.Justin D’Ambrosio - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):213-248.
    In this paper I show that we have strong empirical and theoretical reasons to treat the verbs we use in our semantic theorizing—particularly ‘refers to ’, ‘applies to ’, and ‘is true of ’—as intensional transitive verbs. Stating our semantic theories with intensional vocabulary allows us to partially reconcile two competing approaches to the nature and subject-matter of semantics: the Chomskian approach, on which semantics is non-relational, internalistic, and concerns the psychology of language users, and the Lewisian approach, on which (...)
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  3. Gönderim Üzerine.Bertrand Russell - 2015 - Felsefe Tartismalari (49):55-72.
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  4. Reference Fiction, and Omission.Samuel Murray - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):235-257.
    In this paper, I argue that sentences that contain ‘omission’ tokens that appear to function as singular terms are meaningful while maintaining the view that omissions are nothing at all or mere absences. I take omissions to be fictional entities and claim that the way in which sentences about fictional characters are true parallels the way in which sentences about omissions are true. I develop a pragmatic account of fictional reference and argue that my fictionalist account of omissions implies a (...)
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  5. The Problem of Empty Names and Russellian Plenitude.Joshua Spencer - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):1-18.
    ‘Ahab is a whaler’ and ‘Holmes is a whaler’ express different propositions, even though neither ‘Ahab’ nor ‘Holmes’ has a referent. This seems to constitute a theoretical puzzle for the Russellian view of propositions. In this paper, I develop a variant of the Russellian view, Plenitudinous Russellianism. I claim that ‘Ahab is a whaler’ and ‘Holmes is a whaler’ express distinct gappy propositions. I discuss key metaphysical and semantic differences between Plenitudinous Russellianism and Traditional Russellianism and respond to objections that (...)
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  6. 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 no concrete (...)
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  7. Artifactualism and Authorial Creation.Zsofia Zvolenszky - 2014 - Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics 6:457–469.
    Artifactualism about fictional characters, positing Harry Potter as an abstract artifact created by J. K. Rowling, has been criticized on the grounds that the idea of creating such objects is mysterious and problematic. In the light of such qualms, it is worth homing in on an argument in favor of artifactualism, showing that it is the best way to include the likes of Harry Potter in our ontology precisely because it incorporates authorial creation. To that end, I will be exploring (...)
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  8. Nomes Vazios.Teresa Marques & Manuel García-Carpintero - 2014 - Compêndio Em Linha de Problemas de Filosofia Analítica.
    Os nomes próprios são termos singulares que intuitivamente indicam os objectos do discurso ou pensamento. Alguns nomes falham na sua função de referir, sem que, aparentemente, deixem de desempenhar um papel representacional. Isso é paradoxal: Por um lado, os objectos referidos deveriam fazer parte de uma caracterização correcta dos nomes próprios. Por outro lado, o significado das frases que incorporam nomes vácuos sugere que tais objectos são extrínsecos aos pensamentos transmitidos. Isto é o problema que se levanta com a existência (...)
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  9. Against Sainsbury’s Irrealism About Fictional Characters: Harry Potter as an Abstract Artifact.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2012 - Hungarian Philosophical Review (Magyar Filozófiai Szemle) (4):83-109.
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  10. Abstract Artifact Theory About Fictional Characters Defended — Why Sainsbury’s Category-Mistake Objection is Mistaken.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2013 - Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics Vol. 5/2013.
    In this paper, I explore a line of argument against one form of realism about fictional characters : abstract artifact theory, the view according to which fictional characters like Harry Potter are part of our reality, but, they are abstract objects created by humans, akin to the institution of marriage and the game of soccer. I will defend artifactualism against an objection that Mark Sainsbury considers decisive against it: the category-mistake objection. The objection has it that artifactualism attributes to people (...)
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  11. Probably the Charterhouse of Parma Does Not Exist, Possibly Not Even That Parma.Alberto Voltolini - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25):235-261.
    In this paper, I will claim that fictional works apparently about utterly immigrant objects, i.e., real individuals imported in fiction from reality, are instead about fictional individuals that intentionally resemble those real individuals in a significant manner: fictional surrogates of such individuals. Since I also share the realists’ conviction that the remaining fictional works concern native characters, i.e., full-fledged fictional individuals that originate in fiction itself, I will here defend a hyperrealist position according to which fictional works only concern fictional (...)
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  12. Nomi in crisi di identità.Elena Casetta & Achille C. Varzi - 2008 - Rivista di Estetica 38:143-156.
    An exchange of letters among proper names and natural-kind terms, dealing with various identity and individuation problems (rigid designation, use-mention ambiguities, translation) from their point of view.
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  13. Quantificational Logic and Empty Names.Andrew Bacon - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
    The result of combining classical quantificational logic with modal logic proves necessitism – the claim that necessarily everything is necessarily identical to something. This problem is reflected in the purely quantificational theory by theorems such as ∃x t=x; it is a theorem, for example, that something is identical to Timothy Williamson. The standard way to avoid these consequences is to weaken the theory of quantification to a certain kind of free logic. However, it has often been noted that in order (...)
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  14. Existence and Free Logic.Dolf Rami - manuscript
    In this paper I aim to defend a first‐order non‐discriminating property view concerning existence. The version of this view that I prefer is based on negative (or a specific neutral) free logic that treats the existence predicate as first‐order logical predicate. I will provide reasons why such a view is more plausible than a second‐order discriminating property view concerning existence and I will also discuss four challenges for the proposed view and provide solutions to them.
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  15. 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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  16. The Truth and Nothing but the Truth: Non-Literalism and The Habits of Sherlock Holmes.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Abstract: Many, if not most philosophers, deny that a sentence like ‘Sherlock Holmes smokes’ could be true. However, this attitude conflicts with the assignment of true to that sentence by natural language speakers. Furthermore, this process of assigning truth values to sentences like ‘Sherlock Holes smokes’ seems indistinguishable from the process that leads speakers to assign true to other sentences, those like ‘Bertrand Russell smokes’. I will explore the idea that when speakers assign the value true to the first sentence, (...)
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