Names and individuals

In P. Stalmaszczyk & L. F. Moreno (eds.), Philosophical approaches to proper names. Peter Lang. pp. 123-146 (2016)
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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 new theory of proper names (called the cluster-occurrence theory) is presented, according to which names refer to individual occurrences, and the intension associated with a name is an individual simpliciter. The merits of the new theory are then assessed in confrontation with its standard rival accounts.
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