The subtle lives of descriptive names
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This paper develops a radical alternative to standard accounts of descriptive names. A ‘descriptive name’ is a singular term introduced by a stipulation of form ┌Let α refer to the Ψ┐. It is shown that—contrary to standard views—the reference-fixing mechanism for a descriptive name is not satisfactional. §1 argues for a background view of reference-fixing for ordinary language singular terms. §2 shows how this view generates a non-satisfactional account of reference-fixing for descriptive names. §3 explores the implications of the discussion in §§1–2 for the possibility of descriptively mediated singular thought. §4 argues for a new account of what speaker and hearer are committed to when the speaker makes and the hearer accepts a ┌Let α refer to the Ψ┐ stipulation.
Dickie , I 2019 , The subtle lives of descriptive names . in E Lepore & D Sosa (eds) , Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Language . vol. 1 , Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Language , Oxford University Press . https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198836568.003.0001
Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Language
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