Names in strange places

Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (5):429-472 (2017)
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Abstract
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 can offer a very plausible account of the interpretive possibilities for singular unmodified definite descriptions containing names ; and that the most plausible version of predicativism would treat bare names as non-anaphoric definite descriptions.
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Archival date: 2017-05-01
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