Naming and Normativity

Journal of Mind and Behavior 29 (1-2):49-54 (2008)
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Abstract
Evolutionary theory has recently been applied to language. The aim of this paper is to contribute to such an evolutionary approach to language. I argue that Kripke’s causal account of proper names, in terms of natural selection, captures the norm of uses of a proper name, which is to refer to the same object as past others’ uses in a linguistic community. My argument appeals to Millikan’s theory of direct proper functions, which captures the norms of various functional entities in terms of natural selection.
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First archival date: 2011-04-13
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2011-01-15

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