Lexical-rule predicativism about names

Synthese 195 (12):5549-5569 (2018)
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Abstract

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 view about the semantic type of bare occurrences. I’ll argue that predicativists should hold that bare names are derived individual-denoting expressions. I end by considering what this result means for the relationship between predicativism and other metalinguistic theories of names.

Author's Profile

Aidan Gray
University of Illinois, Chicago

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