A Theory of Names and True Intensionality

In Maria Aloni, V. Kimmelman, Floris Roelofsen, G. Weidman Sassoon, Katrin Schulz & M. Westera (eds.), Logic, Language and Meaning: 18th Amsterdam Colloquium. Springer. pp. 441-449 (2012)
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Standard approaches to proper names, based on Kripke's views, hold that the semantic values of expressions are (set-theoretic) functions from possible worlds to extensions and that names are rigid designators, i.e.\ that their values are \emph{constant} functions from worlds to entities. The difficulties with these approaches are well-known and in this paper we develop an alternative. Based on earlier work on a higher order logic that is \emph{truly intensional} in the sense that it does not validate the axiom scheme of Extensionality, we develop a simple theory of names in which Kripke's intuitions concerning rigidity are accounted for, but the more unpalatable consequences of standard implementations of his theory are avoided. The logic uses Frege's distinction between sense and reference and while it accepts the rigidity of names it rejects the view that names have direct reference. Names have constant denotations across possible worlds, but the semantic value of a name is not determined by its denotation.

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Reinhard Muskens
University of Amsterdam


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