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  1. A Simple Theory of Rigidity.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-13.
    The notion of rigidity looms large in philosophy of language, but is beset by difficulties. This paper proposes a simple theory of rigidity, according to which an expression has a world-relative semantic property rigidly when it has that property at, or with respect to, all worlds. Just as names, and certain descriptions like 'The square root of 4', rigidly designate their referents, so too are necessary truths rigidly true, and so too does 'cat' rigidly have only animals in its extension. (...)
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  2. Law-Abiding Causal Decision Theory.Timothy Luke Williamson & Alexander Sandgren - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In this paper we discuss how Causal Decision Theory should be modified to handle a class of problematic cases involving deterministic laws. Causal Decision Theory, as it stands, is problematically biased against your endorsing deterministic propositions (for example it tells you to deny Newtonian physics, regardless of how confident you are of its truth). Our response is that this is not a problem for Causal Decision Theory per se, but arises because of the standard method for assessing the truth of (...)
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  3. Frege’s Puzzle and the Ex Ante Pareto Principle.Anna Mahtani - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):2077-2100.
    The ex ante Pareto principle has an intuitive pull, and it has been a principle of central importance since Harsanyi’s defence of utilitarianism. The principle has been used to criticize and refine a range of positions in welfare economics, including egalitarianism and prioritarianism. But this principle faces a serious problem. I have argued elsewhere :303-323 2017) that the concept of ex ante Pareto superiority is not well defined, because its application in a choice situation concerning a fixed population can depend (...)
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  4. De Re Beliefs and Evidence in Legal Cases.Samuel J. Thomas - 2021 - Dissertation, Arizona State University
    For the past half-century, both jurisprudence and epistemology have been haunted by questions about why individual evidence (i.e., evidence which picks out a specific individual) can sufficiently justify a guilty or liable verdict while bare statistical evidence (i.e., statistical evidence which does not pick out a specific individual) does not sufficiently justify such a verdict. This thesis examines three popular justifications for such a disparity in verdicts – Judith Jarvis Thomson’s causal account, Enoch et al.’s sensitivity account, and Sarah Moss’ (...)
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  5. Counterfactual Double Lives.Michael Deigan - 2017 - Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium:215--224.
    Expressions typically thought to be rigid designators can refer to distinct individuals in the consequents of counterfactuals. This occurs in counteridenticals, such as “If I were you, I would arrest me”, as well as more ordinary counterfactuals with clearly possible antecedents, like “If I were a police officer, I would arrest me”. I argue that in response we should drop rigidity and deal with de re modal predication using something more flexible, such as counterpart theory.
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  6. Type-Ambiguous Names.Anders J. Schoubye - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):715-767.
    The orthodox view of proper names, Millianism, provides a very simple and elegant explanation of the semantic contribution of referential uses of names–names that occur as bare singulars and as the argument of a predicate. However, one problem for Millianism is that it cannot explain the semantic contribution of predicative uses of names. In recent years, an alternative view, so-called the-predicativism, has become increasingly popular. According to the-predicativists, names are uniformly count nouns. This straightforwardly explains why names can be used (...)
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  7. Semantics Through Reference to the Unknown.Arslan Aran - 2016 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 16 (3):381-392.
    In this paper, I dwell on a particular distinction introduced by Ilhan Inan—the distinction between ostensible and inostensible use of our language. The distinction applies to singular terms, such as proper names and definite descriptions, or to general terms like concepts and to the ways in which we refer to objects in the world by using such terms. Inan introduces the distinction primarily as an epistemic one but in his earlier writings (1997: 49) he leaves some room for it to (...)
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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. The Distance Between “Here” and “Where I Am”.Savas L. Tsohatzidis - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Research 40:13-21.
    This paper argues that Michael Dummett's proposed distinction between a declarative sentence's "assertoric content" and "ingredient sense" is not in fact supported by what Dummett presents as paradigmatic evidence in its support.
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  11. Definite Descriptions and Semantic Pluralism.Brendan Murday - 2014 - Philosophical Papers 43 (2):255-284.
    We pose two arguments for the view that sentences containing definite descriptions semantically express multiple propositions: a general proposition as Russell suggested, and a singular proposition featuring the individual who uniquely satisfies the description at the world-time of utterance. One argument mirrors David Kaplan's arguments that indexicals express singular propositions through a context-sensitive character. The second argument mirrors Kent Bach's and Stephen Neale's arguments for pluralist views about terms putatively triggering conventional implicatures, appositive, and nonrestrictive relative clauses. After presenting these (...)
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  12. Demonstratives Without Rigidity or Ambiguity.Ethan Nowak - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (5):409-436.
    Most philosophers recognize that applying the standard semantics for complex demonstratives to non-deictic instances results in truth conditions that are anomalous, at best. This fact has generated little concern, however, since most philosophers treat non-deictic demonstratives as marginal cases, and believe that they should be analyzed using a distinct semantic mechanism. In this paper, I argue that non-deictic demonstratives cannot be written off; they are widespread in English and foreign languages, and must be treated using the same semantic machinery that (...)
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  13. Theoretical Identities May Not Be Necessary.Alik Pelman - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):412-422.
    Following insights from the New Theory of Reference, it has become widely accepted that theoretical identities like ‘water = H2O' are necessary. However, some have challenged this claim. I propose yet another challenge in the form of a sceptical argument. The argument is based on the contention that the necessity of theoretical identities is dependent upon criteria of identity. Thus, a theoretical identity is necessary given one criterion of identity but contingent given another. Since we do not know which criteria (...)
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  14. Common Nouns and Rigidity.Cem Şişkolar - 2014 - Dissertation, Bogazici University
    The principal question addressed is whether there is a division among common nouns which is similar to a familiar division among noun phrases that designate particular-level individuals: the one which is captured in the relevant literature as the difference between de jure rigid and not de jure rigid singular terms. In relation with the previous philosophical literature relevant to noun rigidity it is argued that the extant positions on the matter are not defended on the basis of well-founded syntactic categories (...)
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  15. Kripke.Bryan Frances - 2011 - In Barry Lee (ed.), Key Thinkers in the Philosophy of Language. Continuum. pp. 249-267.
    This chapter introduces Kripke's work to advanced undergraduates, mainly focussing on his "A Puzzle About Belief" and "Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language".
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  16. Rigid General Terms and Essential Predicates.Ilhan Inan - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (2):213 - 228.
    What does it mean for a general term to be rigid? It is argued by some that if we take general terms to designate their extensions, then almost no empirical general term will turn out to be rigid; and if we take them to designate some abstract entity, such as a kind, then it turns out that almost all general terms will be rigid. Various authors who pursue this line of reasoning have attempted to capture Kripke’s intent by defining a (...)
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  17. A suposta indexicalidade dos designadores de espécies naturais segundo Burge.César Schirmer dos Santos - 2007 - Philósophos - Revista de Filosofia 12 (2):87-105.
    Nos anos 1970s, Hilary Putnam defendeu a tese que designadores de espécies naturais, como “água”, “tigre” e “ouro”, são termos indexicais que mudam de significado a cada contexto. No entanto, Tyler Burge rejeitou essa tese, e Putnam veio a adotar a posição de Burge. A rejeição de Burge está apoiada na distinção entre crenças de dicto e crenças de re. Nesse artigo veremos os pontos de contato entre as posições de Putnam e Burge, a posição de Putnam nos anos 1970s, (...)
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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. Analytic Truths and Kripke’s Semantic Turn.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2006 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):327-341.
    In his influential Naming and Necessity lectures, Saul Kripke made new sense of modal statements: “Kant might have been a bachelor”, “Königsberg is necessarily identical with Kaliningrad”. Many took the notions he introduced-metaphysical necessity and rigid designation -- to herald new metaphysical issues and have important consequences. In fact, the Kripkean insight is at bottom semantic, rather than metaphysical: it is part of how proper names work that they purport to refer to individuals to whom modal properties can be ascribed. (...)
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  21. In Defense of Obstinacy.Joao Branquinho - 2003 - Philosophical Perspectives 17 (1):1–23.
    The aim of this paper is to make the case for the obstinacy thesis. This is the thesis that proper names like ‘Hitler’, demonstratives like ‘this’, pure indexicals like ‘I’, and natural kind terms like ‘water’ and ‘gold’, are obstinately rigid terms. An obstinately rigid term is one that refers to the object that is its actual referent with respect to every possible world (hence, a fortiori, even with respect to worlds where that object does not exist). This form of (...)
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  22. Rigidity and Modal Asymmetry: The Intuitive Kripkean Argument Revisited.Michael Oliva Córdoba - 2002 - In Ansgar Beckermann & Christian Nimtz (eds.), Argument & Analyse. mentis. pp. 306-320.
    Much of what has been discussed in the theory of reference in the last twenty-five years is strongly influenced by considerations centring on the business of devising a semantics for quantified modal logic. In this context, discussion of the property of rigidity plays an important role. This property is conceived of as a semantic modal property that distinguishes proper names from descriptions. It is argued that there is a semantic modal asym- metry between expressions of these types. In this talk (...)
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  23. Identity: Logic, Ontology, Epistemology.Roger Wertheimer - 1998 - Philosophy 73 (2):179-193.
    The identity "relation" is misconceived since the syntax of "=" is misconceived as a relative term. Actually, "=" is syncategorematic; it forms (true) sentences with a nonpredicative syntax from pairs of (coreferring) flanking names, much as "&" forms (true) conjunctive sentences from pairs of (true) flanking sentences. In the conaming structure, nothing is predicated of the subject, other than, implicitly, its being so conamed. An identity sentence has both an objectual reading as a necessity about what is named, and also (...)
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  24. Rigidity and Content.Jason Stanley - 1997 - In Richard G. Heck (ed.), Language, Truth, and Logic. Oxford University Press.
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  25. Williams on Kaplan on the Contingent Analytic.Graham Oppy - 1995 - Ratio 8 (2):189-192.
    This paper is a reply to a prior work by C. J. F. Williams in which he criticised David Kaplan's account of the contingent analytic. In this paper, I take myself to be defending Kaplan's views against Williams' attack.
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  26. 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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  27. 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” are true (...)
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  28. “Please Explain What a Rigid Designator Is”.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    This is an essay written for undergraduates who are confused about what a rigid designator is.
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  29. Descriptive Names and Shifty Characters: A Case for Tensed Rigidity.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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  30. Four Problems for Empty Names.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Empty names vary in their referential features. Some of them, as Kripke argues, are necessarily empty -- those that are used to create works of fiction. Others appear to be contingently empty -- those which fail to refer at this world, but which do uniquely identify particular objects in other possible worlds. I argue against Kripke's metaphysical and semantic reasons for thinking that either some or all empty names are necessarily non-referring, because these reasons are either not the right reasons (...)
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