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  1. Now, Imagine an Actually Existing Unicorn: On Russellian Worries for Modal Meinongianism.Andreas de Jong - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-16.
    Modal Meinongianism provides the semantics of sentences involving intentional verbs Priest (Towards Nonbeing, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016). To that end, Modal Meinongianism employs a pointed non-normal quantified modal logic model. Like earlier Meinongian views Modal Meinongianism has a characterisation principle (QCP), that claims that any condition whatsoever is satisfied by some object in some world. Recently, Everett (The nonexistent, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013, 169, p. 36) has proposed an argument against QCP that, if successful, gives rise to problems (...)
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  • The Epistemological Virtues of Assumptions: Towards a Coming of Age of Boltzmann and Meinong’s Objections to ‘the Prejudice in Favour of the Actual’?Nadine de Courtenay - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (1):41-57.
    Two complementary debates of the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century are examined here: the debate on the legitimacy of hypotheses in the natural sciences and the debate on intentionality and ‘representations without object’ in philosophy. Both are shown to rest on two core issues: the attitude of the subject and the mode of presentation chosen to display a domain of phenomena. An orientation other than the one which contributed to shape twentieth-century philosophy of science is explored through the (...)
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  • To Be or Not to Be a Name: Tertium Non Datur: Cratylus’ Prophecy in Plato’s Cratylus.Barbara Botter - 2018 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 24:265-296.
    The name tells the thing if it's a name. If it doesn’t tell the thing, it isn’t a name. This is the puzzling and enigmatic theory proposed by Cratilo in the homonymous Plato’s dialogue. The thesis in Hermogenes already sounds hermetic, an "oracle" which requires the presence of an interpreter to clarify what remains hidden in the terms of the sentence. According to the disciple of Heraclitus, the names are by nature guaranteed to impart pure truths, that is, they are (...)
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  • Presupposition and Policing in Complex Demonstratives.Michael Glanzberg & Susanna Siegel - 2006 - Noûs 40 (1):1–42.
    In this paper, we offer a theory of the role of the nominal in complex demonstrative expressions, such as 'this dog' or 'that glove with a hole in it'.
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Naming and Referring: Table of Contents.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    This book is about whether reference to an individual is the essential feature of a proper name -- a widely held view -- or whether referring to an individual is simply a contingent feature. Three questions need resolving, then. First, whether all names in particular contexts are themselves referring devices. Second, whether recognizing names types and the consequent issue of their ambiguity can be resolved simply by distinguishing between name types and tokens thereof. Last, whether names are ever referential in (...)
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  • Why Not Just Features? Reconsidering Infants’ Behavior in Individuation Tasks.Frauke Hildebrandt, Jan Lonnemann & Ramiro Glauer - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
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  • A New Argument for Moral Error Theory.Christopher Cowie - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  • Scientific Method: Method and the Authority of Science.Mary Tiles & Rom Harré - 1988 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 24:31-68.
    The thought that it might be possible to develop a method of scientific discovery, a procedure of investigation and reasoning which, so long as its principles were studiously followed, would be guaranteed to result in scientific knowledge, has long been recognized to be a mere philosophers' dream, with no more possibility of fulfilment than the alchemists' dream of producing a philosophers' stone which would turn base metals into gold. Yet it remains the case that the authority of science rests on (...)
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  • 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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  • Coming From a World Without Objects.Frauke Hildebrandt, Ramiro Glauer & Gregor Kachel - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
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  • Theories of Matter.Henry Laycock - 1975 - Synthese 31 (3-4):411 - 442.
    "Matter" may be defined, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, as "The substance, or the substances collectively, out of which a physical object is made or of which it consists". And while the O.E.D. is not the ultimate authority on words, nor is it, I believe, far wrong in this particular case. The definition is, as I shall argue in this paper, in substantial harmony with a tradition of some antiquity, according to which material objects do not constitute a somehow (...)
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  • Modified Occam's Razor.Ben Phillips - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):371-382.
    According to the principle Grice calls 'Modified Occam's Razor' (MOR), 'Senses are not to be multiplied beyond necessity'. More carefully, MOR says that if there are distinct ways in which an expression is regularly used, then, all other things being equal, we should favour the view that the expression is unambiguous and that certain uses of it can be explained in pragmatic terms. In this paper I argue that MOR cannot have the central role that is typically assigned to it (...)
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  • Biological Taxon Names Are Descriptive Names.Jerzy A. Brzozowski - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (3):1-25.
    The so-called ‘type method’ widely employed in biological taxonomy is often seen as conforming to the causal-historical theory of reference. In this paper, I argue for an alternative account of reference for biological nomenclature in which taxon names are understood as descriptive names. A descriptive name, as the concept came to be known from the work of Gareth Evans, is a referring expression introduced by a definite description. There are three main differences between the DN and the causal account. First, (...)
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  • The Social Transmission of Direct Cognitive Relations.Julie Wulfemeyer - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (1):119-134.
    Both Russell and Donnellan proposed direct, non-descriptive cognitive relations between thinkers and objects. They agreed that such relations couldn’t be initiated in evidence cases, but Donnellan, unlike Russell, thought direct cognitive relations could be transmitted from person to person. Kaplan (2012) suggests the issues of initiation and transmission are separable—allowing one to deny that evidence yields direct cognition while believing direct cognition is transmittable. Here, cases involving transmission, evidence, ordinary perception, and perception aided by technology are considered. It is concluded (...)
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  • Referring to Chemical Elements and Compounds: Colourless Airs in Late-Eighteenth-Century Chemical Practice.Vanessa Seifert, James Ladyman & Geoffrey Blumenthal - 2020 - In Eric R. Scerri & Elena Ghibaudi (eds.), What Is A Chemical Element?: A Collection of Essays by Chemists, Philosophers, Historians, and Educators.
    How do we refer to chemical substances, and in particular to chemical elements? This question relates to many philosophical questions, including whether or not theories are incommensurable, the extent to which past theories are later discarded, and issues about scientific realism. This chapter considers the first explicit reference to types of colorless air in late-eighteenth-century chemical practice. Reference to a gas by one chemist was generally intended to give others epistemological, methodological, and practical access to the gas. This chapter proposes (...)
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  • Speech Act Theoretic Semantics.Daniel Harris - 2014 - Dissertation, CUNY
    I defend the view that linguistic meaning is a relation borne by an expression to a type of speech act, and that this relation holds in virtue of our overlapping communicative dispositions, and not in virtue of linguistic conventions. I argue that this theory gives the right account of the semantics–pragmatics interface and the best-available semantics for non-declarative clauses, and show that it allows for the construction of a rigorous compositional semantic theory with greater explanatory power than both truth-conditional and (...)
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  • On the Supposed Connection Between Proper Names and Singular Thought.Rachel Goodman - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):197-223.
    A thesis I call the name-based singular thought thesis is part of orthodoxy in contemporary philosophy of mind and language: it holds that taking part in communication involving a proper name puts one in a position to entertain singular thoughts about the name’s referent. I argue, first, that proponents of the NBT thesis have failed to explain the phenomenon of name-based singular thoughts, leaving it mysterious how name-use enables singular thoughts. Second, by outlining the reasoning that makes the NBT thesis (...)
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  • Formalizations Après la Lettre: Studies in Medieval Logic and Semantics.Catarina Dutilh Novaes - 2006 - Dissertation, Leiden University
    This thesis is on the history and philosophy of logic and semantics. Logic can be described as the ‘science of reasoning’, as it deals primarily with correct patterns of reasoning. However, logic as a discipline has undergone dramatic changes in the last two centuries: while for ancient and medieval philosophers it belonged essentially to the realm of language studies, it has currently become a sub-branch of mathematics. This thesis attempts to establish a dialogue between the modern and the medieval traditions (...)
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  • Thoughts and Their Ascription.Michael Devitt - 1984 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 9 (1):385-420.
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  • Donnellan’s Distinction.Michael Devitt - 1981 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 6 (1):511-526.
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  • Divided Reference.Igal Kvart - 1989 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 14 (1):140-179.
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  • Against Direct Reference.Michael Devitt - 1989 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 14 (1):206-240.
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  • Rorty's Mirrorless World.Michael Devitt - 1988 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 12 (1):157-177.
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  • Referentially Used Descriptions: A Reply to Devitt.Kent Bach - 2007 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 3 (2):33-48.
    This paper continues an ongoing debate between Michael Devitt and me on referential uses of definite descriptions. He has argued that definite descriptions have referential meanings, and I have argued that they do not. Having previously rebutted the view that referential uses are akin to particularized conversational implicatures, he now he rebuts the view that they are akin to generalized conversational implicatures. I agree that the GCI is not the best model, but I maintain that in exploiting the quantificational meaning (...)
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  • Referential Descriptions and Conversational Implicatures.Michael Devitt - 2007 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 3 (2):7-32.
    Bach fails to give a satisfactory pragmatic account of referential uses of definite descriptions because he does not explain how a description’s quantificational meaning plays a “key role” in those uses. Bach’s criticism that my semantic account does not explain how the hearer understands a description is misguided. Bach’s denial that a pragmatic account is committed to the attributive use being more fundamental detaches meaning from use in an unacceptable way.
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  • Scientific Discovery: That-What’s and What-That's.Samuel Schindler - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2.
    In this paper I defend Kuhn’s view of scientific discovery, which involves two central tenets, namely that a scientific discovery always requires a discovery-that and a discovery-what, and that there are two kinds of scientific discovery, resulting from the temporal order of the discovery-that and the discovery-what. I identify two problems with Kuhn’s account and offer solutions to them from a realist stance. Alternatives to Kuhn’s account are also discussed.
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  • The Elusive Scope of Descriptions.Daniel Rothschild - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (6):910–927.
    (1) Every miner went to a meeting. It seems that (1) can mean either that there was one meeting that every miner went to, or that every miner went to at least one meeting with no guarantee that they all went to the same meeting. In the language of first-order logic we can represent these two readings as a matter of the universal and existential quantifiers having different scope with respect to each other.
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  • Towards a Pluralist Theory of Singular Thought.Michele Palmira - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3947-3974.
    This paper investigates the question of how to correctly capture the scope of singular thinking. The first part of the paper identifies a scope problem for the dominant view of singular thought maintaining that, in order for a thinker to have a singular thought about an object o, the thinker has to bear a special epistemic relation to o. The scope problem has it is that this view cannot make sense of the singularity of our thoughts about objects to which (...)
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  • Is Classical Mathematics Appropriate for Theory of Computation?Farzad Didehvar - manuscript
    Throughout this paper, we are trying to show how and why our Mathematical frame-work seems inappropriate to solve problems in Theory of Computation. More exactly, the concept of turning back in time in paradoxes causes inconsistency in modeling of the concept of Time in some semantic situations. As we see in the first chapter, by introducing a version of “Unexpected Hanging Paradox”,first we attempt to open a new explanation for some paradoxes. In the second step, by applying this paradox, it (...)
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  • Language, Communication, and the Paradox of Analysis: Some Philosophical Remarks on Plato’s Cratylus.Marc A. Moffett - 2005 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 8 (1):57-68.
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  • "Theatrical Names and Reference".Michael Y. Bennett - 2015 - Palgrave Communications 1 (1).
    The relationship between “character” and an “actor” appears to be quite straightforward: an actor acts as/plays character [x]. But let us be more specific and reword this formulation: actor [y] acts as/plays Hamlet. Or – for the time of the play – actor [y] is Hamlet. And it is this last statement that is paradoxically utterly true and utterly false. It is in the name of a theatrical character that the tension between actor and character arises. Asking, for example, who (...)
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  • The Contingency of Composition.Ross P. Cameron - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 136 (1):99-121.
    There is widespread disagreement as to what the facts are concerning just when a collection of objects composes some further object; but there is widespread agreement that, whatever those facts are, they are necessary. I am unhappy to simply assume this, and in this paper I ask whether there is reason to think that the facts concerning composition hold necessarily. I consider various reasons to think so, but find fault with each of them. I examine the theory of composition as (...)
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  • Rearming the Slingshot?Meg Wallace - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (3):283-292.
    Slingshot arguments aim to show that an allegedly non-extensional sentential connective—such as “necessarily ” or “the statement that Φ corresponds to the fact that ”—is, to the contrary, an extensional sentential connective. Stephen Neale : 761-825, 1995, 2001) argues that a reformulation of Gödel’s slingshot puts pressure on us to adopt a particular view of definite descriptions. I formulate a revised version of the slingshot argument—one that relies on Kaplan’s notion of “dthat.” I aim to show that if Neale’s version (...)
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  • An Hegelian Solution to a Tangle of Problems Facing Brandom'S Analytic Pragmatism.Paul Redding - 2015 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (4):657-680.
    In his program of analytic pragmatism, Robert Brandom has presented a thoroughgoing reinterpretation of the place of analytic philosophy in the history of philosophy by linking his own non-representational ‘inferentialist’ approach to semantics to the rationalist – idealist tradition, and in particular, to Hegel. Brandom, however, has not been without his critics in regard to both his approach to semantics and his interpretation of Hegel. Here I single out four interlinked problematic areas facing Brandom's inferentialist semantics – his approach of (...)
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  • Definite Descriptions in Argument: Gettier’s Ten-Coins Example.Yussif Yakubu - 2020 - Argumentation 34 (2):261-274.
    In this article, I use Edmund Gettier’s Ten Coins hypothetical scenario to illustrate some reasoning errors in the use of definite descriptions. The Gettier problem, central as it is to modern epistemology, is first and foremost an argument, which Gettier :121–123, 1963) constructs to prove a contrary conclusion to a widely held view in epistemology. Whereas the epistemological claims in the case have been extensively analysed conceptually, the strategies and tools from other philosophical disciplines such as analytic philosophy of language, (...)
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  • The Individuality of Meaning.Jasper Doomen - 2006 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 5:121.
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  • The Logical Structure of Intentional Anonymity.Michał Barcz, Jarek Gryz & Adam Wierzbicki - 2019 - Diametros 16 (60):1-17.
    It has been noticed by several authors that the colloquial understanding of anonymity as mere unknown-ness is insufficient. This common-sense notion of anonymity does not recognize the role of the goal for which the anonymity is sought. Starting with the distinction between the intentional and unintentional anonymity (which are usually taken to be the same) and the general concept of the non-coordinatability of traits, we offer a logical analysis of anonymity and identification (understood as de-anonymization). In our enquiry, we focus (...)
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  • The Anti-Individualist Revolution in the Philosophy of Language.Gregory Bochner - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (2):91-120.
    The canonical arguments against the description theory of names are usually taken to have established that the reference of a name as used on a given occasion is not semantically determined by the qualitative descriptions that the speaker may have in mind. The deepest moral of these arguments, on the received view, would be that the speaker’s narrow mental states play no semantic role in fixing reference. My central aim in this paper is to challenge this common understanding by highlighting (...)
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  • The Presentational Use of Descriptions.Michael R. Hicks - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (4):361-384.
    Discussing Keith Donnellan's distinction between attributive and referential uses of descriptions, Gareth Evans considered a speaker he found it natural to describe as having “given expression to” a singular thought, though he insisted she was not referring to the person she has in mind. On accounts otherwise similar to Evans's, to express a singular thought just is to refer. Thus, as he does not explain why this speaker might speak this way, it is tempting to ignore this as a slip. (...)
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  • Is the Semiosic Sphere's Center Everywhere and its Circumference Nowhere?Floyd Merrell - 2008 - Semiotica 2008 (169):269-300.
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  • Instructional Semantics for Presuppositions.Umberto Eco & Patrizia Violi - 1987 - Semiotica 64 (1-2):1-40.
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  • Support for Individual Concepts.Barbara Abbott - 2011 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 10:23-44.
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  • The Reference of “God” Revisited.Hugh Burling - 2019 - Faith and Philosophy 36 (3):343-371.
    I argue that the reference for “God” is determined by the definite description “the being that is worthy of our worship.” I describe two desiderata for rival theories of the reference of “God” to meet: accessibility and scope. I explain the deficiencies of a view where God is dubbed “God” and the name passed down by causal chains and a view where “God” picks out the unique satisfier of a traditional definite description. After articulating the “Worship-Worthiness” view, I show how (...)
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  • How to Tell Whether Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God.Tomas Bogardus & Mallorie Urban - 2017 - Faith and Philosophy 34 (2):176-200.
    Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? We answer: it depends. To begin, we clear away some specious arguments surrounding this issue, to make room for the central question: What determines the reference of a name, and under what conditions do names shift reference? We’ll introduce Gareth Evans’s theory of reference, on which a name refers to the dominant source of information in that name’s “dossier,” and we then develop the theory’s notion of dominance. We conclude that whether Muslims’ (...)
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  • Abba, Father: Inclusive Language and Theological Salience.H. E. Baber - 1999 - Faith and Philosophy 16 (3):423-432.
    Questions about the use of “inclusive language” in Christian discourse are trivial but the discussion which surrounds them raises an exceedingly important question, namely that of whether gender is theologically salient-whether Christian doctrine either reveals theologically significant differences between men and women or prescribes different roles for them. Arguably both conservative support for sex roles and allegedly progressive doctrines about the theological significance of gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation are contrary to the radical teaching of the Gospel that in (...)
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  • A Theory of Conceptual Advance: Explaining Conceptual Change in Evolutionary, Molecular, and Evolutionary Developmental Biology.Ingo Brigandt - 2006 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    The theory of concepts advanced in the dissertation aims at accounting for a) how a concept makes successful practice possible, and b) how a scientific concept can be subject to rational change in the course of history. Traditional accounts in the philosophy of science have usually studied concepts in terms only of their reference; their concern is to establish a stability of reference in order to address the incommensurability problem. My discussion, in contrast, suggests that each scientific concept consists of (...)
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  • Schmidentity and informativity.Hannes Fraissler - forthcoming - Synthese:1-27.
    Although Kripke’s œuvre has had a major impact on analytic philosophy and nearly every aspect of his studies has been thoroughly examined, this does not hold for his schmidentity argument, which, so far, has been widely neglected.\ To the extent to which it has been treated at all, it has been for the most part radically misunderstood. I hold that this argument, in its correctly reconstructed form, has general relevance for a treatment of Frege’s Puzzle\ and points towards a fundamental (...)
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  • Common Ground.Robert Stalnaker - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (5-6):701-721.
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