The problem of empty names and Russellian Plenitude

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):1-18 (2016)
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Abstract
‘Ahab is a whaler’ and ‘Holmes is a whaler’ express different propositions, even though neither ‘Ahab’ nor ‘Holmes’ has a referent. This seems to constitute a theoretical puzzle for the Russellian view of propositions. In this paper, I develop a variant of the Russellian view, Plenitudinous Russellianism. I claim that ‘Ahab is a whaler’ and ‘Holmes is a whaler’ express distinct gappy propositions. I discuss key metaphysical and semantic differences between Plenitudinous Russellianism and Traditional Russellianism and respond to objections that stem from those differences.
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SPETPO-25
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Archival date: 2018-11-09
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2016-05-18

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