The Quasi-Verbal Dispute Between Kripke and 'Frege-Russell'

Abstract

Traditional descriptivism and Kripkean causalism are standardly interpreted as rival theories on a single topic. I argue that there is no such shared topic, i.e. that there is no question that they can be interpreted as giving rival answers to. The only way to make sense of the commitment to epistemic transparency that characterizes traditional descriptivism is to interpret Russell and Frege as proposing rival accounts of how to characterize a subject’s beliefs about what names refer to. My argument relies on a development of the distinction between speaker’s reference and semantic reference.

Author's Profile

J. P. Smit
University of Stellenbosch

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2011-12-17

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