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Unspeakable names

Synthese 201 (2):1-19 (2023)

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  1. On referring.P. F. Strawson - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing about language. New York: Routledge.
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  • Reference, Predication, Judgment and their Relations.Indrek Reiland - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Over the course of the past ten-plus years, Peter Hanks and Scott Soames have developed detailed versions of Act-Based views of propositions which operate with the notions of reference to objects, indicating properties, predication, and judgment (or entertaining). In this paper I discuss certain foundational aspects of the Act-Based approach having to do with the relations between these notions. In particular, I argue for the following three points. First, that the approach needs both an atomistically understood thin notion of reference, (...)
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  • Just Words: Intentions, Tolerance and Lexical Selection.Una Stojnić - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (1):3-17.
    We all make mistakes in pronunciation and spelling, but a common view is that there are limits beyond which a mistaken pronunciation or spelling becomes too dramatic to be recognized as of a particular word at all. These considerations have bolstered a family of accounts that invoke speaker intentions and standards for tolerance as determinants of which word, if any, an utterance tokens. I argue this is a mistake. Neither intentions nor standards of tolerance are necessary or sufficient (individually or (...)
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  • Presuppositions and scope.Daniel Rothschild - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (2):71-106.
    This paper discusses the apparent scope ambiguities between definite descriptions and modal operators. I argue that we need the theory of presupposition to explain why these ambiguities are not always present, and that once that theory is in hand, Kripke’s modal argument loses much of its force.
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  • Words, Species, and Kinds.J. T. M. Miller - 2021 - Metaphysics 4 (1):18–31.
    It has been widely argued that words are analogous to species such that words, like species, are natural kinds. In this paper, I consider the metaphysics of word-kinds. After arguing against an essentialist approach, I argue that word-kinds are homeostatic property clusters, in line with the dominant approach to other biological and psychological kinds.
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  • The ontology of words: Realism, nominalism, and eliminativism.J. T. M. Miller - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (7):e12691.
    What are words? What makes two token words tokens of the same word-type? Are words abstract entities, or are they (merely) collections of tokens? The ontology of words tries to provide answers to these, and related questions. This article provides an overview of some of the most prominent views proposed in the literature, with a particular focus on the debate between type-realist, nominalist, and eliminativist ontologies of words.
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  • On the individuation of words.J. T. M. Miller - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (8):875-884.
    ABSTRACT The idea that two words can be instances of the same word is a central intuition in our conception of language. This fact underlies many of the claims that we make about how we communicate, and how we understand each other. Given this, irrespective of what we think words are, it is common to think that any putative ontology of words, must be able to explain this feature of language. That is, we need to provide criteria of identity for (...)
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  • The double life of names.Gail Leckie - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1139-1160.
    This paper is a counter to the view that names are always predicates with the same extension as a metalinguistic predicate with the form “is a thing called “N”” (the Predicate View). The Predicate View is in opposition to the Referential View of names. In this paper, I undermine one argument for the Predicate View. The Predicate View’s adherents take examples of uses of names that have the surface appearance of a predicate and generalise from these to treat uses of (...)
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  • Species.Philip Kitcher - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (11):721-722.
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  • Words on words.David Kaplan - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy 108 (9):504-529.
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  • Words.David Kaplan - 1990 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 64 (1):93-119.
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  • An Ontology of Words.Nurbay Irmak - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):1139-1158.
    Words are indispensable linguistic tools for beings like us. However, there is not much philosophical work done about what words really are. In this paper, I develop a new ontology for words. I argue that words are abstract artifacts that are created to fulfill various kinds of purposes, and words are abstract in the sense that they are not located in space but they have a beginning and may have an end in time given that certain conditions are met. What (...)
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  • What Are Words? Comments on Kaplan (1990), on Hawthorne and Lepore, and on the Issue.John Hawthorne & Ernie Lepore - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy 108 (9):486-503.
    Under what conditions are two utterances utterances of the same word? What are words? That these questions have not received much attention is rather surprising: after all, philosophers and linguists frequently appeal to considerations about word and sentence identity in connection with a variety of puzzles and problems that are foundational to the very subject matter of philosophy of language and linguistics.1 Kaplan’s attention to words is thus to be applauded. And there is no doubt that his discussion contains many (...)
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  • Gender and race: (What) are they? (What) do we want them to be?Sally Haslanger - 2000 - Noûs 34 (1):31–55.
    It is always awkward when someone asks me informally what I’m working on and I answer that I’m trying to figure out what gender is. For outside a rather narrow segment of the academic world, the term ‘gender’ has come to function as the polite way to talk about the sexes. And one thing people feel pretty confident about is their knowledge of the difference between males and females. Males are those human beings with a range of familiar primary and (...)
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  • On the Very Idea of Metalinguistic Theories of Names.Aidan Gray - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    Metalinguistic approaches to names hold that proper names are semantically associated with name-bearing properties. I argue that metalinguistic theorists owe us an account of the metaphysics of those properties. The unique structure of the debate about names gives an issue which might look to be narrowly linguistic an important metaphysical dimension. The only plausible account of name-bearing treats name-bearing properties as a species of response-dependent property. I outline how such an account should look, drawing on forms of response-dependence identified in (...)
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  • Name-bearing, reference, and circularity.Aidan Gray - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):207-231.
    Proponents of the predicate view of names explain the reference of an occurrence of a name N by invoking the property of bearing N. They avoid the charge that this view involves a vicious circularity by claiming that bearing N is not itself to be understood in terms of the reference of actual or possible occurrences of N. I argue that this approach is fundamentally mistaken. The phenomenon of ‘reference transfer’ shows that an individual can come to bear a name (...)
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  • The variation problem.Ashley Feinsinger - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):317-338.
    It is often assumed that two linguistic agents can come to understand one another in part because they use the same words. That is, many philosophical theories of communication posit an intersubjective same-word relation. However, giving an account of this relation is complicated by what I call “The Variation Problem”—a problem resulting from the fact that the same word can be pronounced differently. In this paper, I first argue that previous models of the same-word relation, including Kaplanian and Chomskyan models, (...)
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  • The Causal Theory of Names.Gareth Evans - 1973 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 47 (1):187–208.
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  • The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science.John Dupré - 1993 - Harvard University Press.
    With this manifesto, John Dupré systematically attacks the ideal of scientific unity by showing how its underlying assumptions are at odds with the central conclusions of science itself.
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  • Meanings and psychology: A response to mark Richard.Michael Devitt - 1997 - Noûs 31 (1):115-131.
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  • Reference and proper names.Tyler Burge - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (14):425-439.
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  • Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
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  • The reference book.John Hawthorne & David Manley - 2012 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by David Manley.
    This book critically examines some widespread views about the semantic phenomenon of reference and the cognitive phenomenon of singular thought. It begins with a defense of the view that neither is tied to a special relation of causal or epistemic acquaintance. It then challenges the alleged semantic rift between definite and indefinite descriptions on the one hand, and names and demonstratives on the other—a division that has been motivated in part by appeals to considerations of acquaintance. Drawing on recent work (...)
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  • The Poverty of the Linnaean Hierarchy: A Philosophical Study of Biological Taxonomy.Marc Ereshefsky - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    The question of whether biologists should continue to use the Linnaean hierarchy has been a hotly debated issue. Invented before the introduction of evolutionary theory, Linnaeus's system of classifying organisms is based on outdated theoretical assumptions, and is thought to be unable to provide accurate biological classifications. Marc Ereshefsky argues that biologists should abandon the Linnaean system and adopt an alternative that is more in line with evolutionary theory. He traces the evolution of the Linnaean hierarchy from its introduction to (...)
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  • What Are Words? Comments on Kaplan (1990), on Hawthorne and Lepore, and on the Issue.Sylvain Bromberger - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy 108 (9):486-503.
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  • Homeostasis, species, and higher taxa.Richard Boyd - 1999 - In R. A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. MIT Press. pp. 141-85.
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  • Descriptions.S. Neale - 1996 - Critica 28 (83):97-129.
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