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Vulcan might have existed, and Neptune not: On the Semantics of Empty Names
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy. (Theoretical Philosophy)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5250-1881
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy. (Theoretical philosophy)
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)
Abstract [en]

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.
Keyword [en]
proper names, empty names, modality de dicto and de re, switcher semantics, negative existentials
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Theoretical Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-111604ISBN: 978-0-19-964705-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-111604DiVA: diva2:775904
Available from: 2015-01-05 Created: 2015-01-05 Last updated: 2015-02-17Bibliographically approved

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