Vulcan might have existed, and Neptune not: On the Semantics of Empty Names
2014 (English)In: Empty Representation: Reference and Non-Existence / [ed] Manuel García-Carpintero and Genoveva Martí, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, 1, 117-141 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Empty names such as ‘Vulcan’ or ‘Sherlock Holmes’ have intrigued philosophers of language at least since Frege. They are clearly problematic for Millian accounts of the semantics of proper names, but also for certain recent versions of descriptivism trying to accommodate Kripkean intuitions regarding proper names. In ‘Proper Names and Relational Modality’ (2006), we suggest an alternative to such semantics: introducing the technique of semantic evaluation switching, we develop a semantics allowing (non-empty) proper names to have descriptive contents while accommodating Kripkean modal intuitions. This chapter extends the switcher semantics to empty names.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, 1. 117-141 p.
proper names, empty names, modality de dicto and de re, switcher semantics, negative existentials
Research subject Theoretical Philosophy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-111604ISBN: 978-0-19-964705-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-111604DiVA: diva2:775904