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  1. Proceedings of the Poster Session of the 29th Annual West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL 29).Hiroki Nomoto - forthcoming - In Proceedings of the Poster Session of the 29th Anual West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL 29). University of Arizona Linguistics Circle.
    Dayal's (2004) theory of kind terms accounts for the definiteness and number marking patterns in kind terms in many languages. Brazilian Portuguese has been claimed to be a counter-example to her theory as it seems to allow bare ``singular'' kind terms, which are predicted to be impossible according to her theory. However, the empirical status of the relevant data has not been clear so far. This paper presents a new data point from Singlish and confirms the existence of bare ``singular'' (...)
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  2. A Dilemma About Kinds and Kind Terms.T. Parent - forthcoming - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):2987-3006.
    'The kind Lion' denotes a kind. Yet many generics are thought to denote kinds also, like the subject-terms in 'The lion has a mane', 'Dinosaurs are extinct', and 'The potato was cultivated in Ireland by the end of the 17th century.' This view may be adequate for the linguist's overall purposes--however, if we limit our attention to the theory of reference, it seems unworkable. The problem is that what is often predicated of kinds is not what is predicated of the (...)
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  3. Bolzano's Externalist Semantics of Natural Kind Terms.Sajed Tayebi - forthcoming - Wiley: European Journal of Philosophy.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  4. Bolzano's Externalist Semantics of Natural Kind Terms.Sajed Tayebi - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  5. Kind Terms and Semantic Uniformity.Andrea Bianchi - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (1):7-17.
    Since Saul Kripke’s and Hilary Putnam’s groundbreaking work in the Seventies, the idea has emerged that natural kind terms are semantically special among common nouns. Stephen P. Schwartz, for example, has argued that an artifactual kind term like “pencil” functions very differently from a natural kind term like “tiger.” This, however, blatantly violates a principle that I call Semantic Uniformity. In this paper, I defend the principle. In particular, I outline a picture of how natural kind terms function based on (...)
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  6. Roads to Anti-Descriptivism (About Reference Fixing): Replies to Soames, Raatikainen, and Devitt.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (3):1005-1017.
    I reply to comments and criticism of my book Roads to Reference by Scott Soames (on the referents of ordinary substance terms and the conventions governing reference fixing for demonstratives, proper names, and color adjectives), Panu Raatikainen (on the exact scope of my critique of descriptivism and on the relation between referential indeterminacy and ‘‘partial reference’’), and Michael Devitt (on the role of referential intentions and anti-descriptivism in the metasemantics of demonstratives).
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  7. On the Semantics of Artifactual Kind Terms.Irene Olivero & Massimiliano Carrara - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (11):e12778.
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  8. Causal Structures in Language and Thought.Eleonore Neufeld - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Southern California
    This dissertation defends the view that concepts encode causal information and, for the first time, applies this view to a range of topics in the philosophy of language and social philosophy. In my first chapter (“Cognitive Essentialism and the Structure of Concepts”), I survey the current empirical and theoretical literature on causal-essentialist theories of concepts. In my second chapter (“Meaning Externalism and Causal Model Theory”), I propose an account of natural kind concepts according to which they encode statistical information of (...)
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  9. Roads to Reference: An Essay on Reference Fixing in Natural Language.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2019 - Oxford, Reino Unido: Oxford University Press.
    How is it that words come to stand for the things they stand for? Is the thing that a word stands for - its reference - fully identified or described by conventions known to the users of the word? Or is there a more roundabout relation between the reference of a word and the conventions that determine or fix it? Do words like 'water', 'three', and 'red' refer to appropriate things, just as the word 'Aristotle' refers to Aristotle? If so, (...)
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  10. Natural Name Theory and Linguistic Kinds.J. T. M. Miller - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (9):494-508.
    The natural name theory, recently discussed by Johnson (2018), is proposed as an explanation of pure quotation where the quoted term(s) refers to a linguistic object such as in the sentence ‘In the above, ‘bank’ is ambiguous’. After outlining the theory, I raise a problem for the natural name theory. I argue that positing a resemblance relation between the name and the linguistic object it names does not allow us to rule out cases where the natural name fails to resemble (...)
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  11. Situations, Alternatives, and the Semantics of 'Cases'.Friederike Moltmann - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy (1):1-41.
    This paper presents a systematic semantic study of constructions with the noun 'case'. It argues that 'cases' are situations acting as truthmakers within a sentential or epistemic case space. It develops a truthmaker-based alternative semantics of 'case'-constructions, based on Fine's recent truthmaker semantics.
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  12. An Essentialist Theory of the Meaning of Slurs.Eleonore Neufeld - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    In this paper, I develop an essentialist model of the semantics of slurs. I defend the view that slurs are a species of kind terms: Slur concepts encode mini-theories which represent an essence-like element that is causally connected to a set of negatively-valenced stereotypical features of a social group. The truth-conditional contribution of slur nouns can then be captured by the following schema: For a given slur S of a social group G and a person P, S is true of (...)
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  13. Water has a Microstructural Essence After All.Carl Hoefer & Genoveva Martí - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):12.
    In recent years attacks on the Kripke-Putnam approach to natural kinds and natural kind terms have proliferated. In a recent paper, Häggqvist and Wikforss attack the once-dominant essentialist account of natural kinds. Häggqvist & Wikforss also suggest that it is time to return to some sort of cluster-based descriptivist semantics for natural kind terms, thus targeting both the metaphysical and semantic tenets that underpin the Kripke-Putnam approach. In our paper we want to challenge both parts of Häggqvist and Wikforss’ project. (...)
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  14. Kant and Natural Kind Terms.Luca Forgione - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (1):55-72.
    As is well known, the linguistic/philosophical reflection on natural kind terms has undergone a remarkable development in the early seventies with Putnam and Kripke’s essentialist approaches, touching upon different aspects of Kan’s slant. Preliminarily, however, it might be useful to review some of the theoretical stages in Locke and Leibniz’s approaches on natural kind terms in the light of contemporary reflections, to eventually pinpoint Kant’s contribution and see how some commentators have placed it within the theory of direct reference. Starting (...)
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  15. General Terms, Hybrid Theories and Ambiguitiy. A Discussion of Some Experimental Results.Genoveva Marti - 2015 - In Jussi Haukioja (ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Language. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 157-172.
    I examine two sets of experimental results about the semantics of general terms, by Genone and Lombrozo (2012) and by Nichols, Pinillos and Mallon (forthcoming) that allegedly reveal significant variations in semantic intuitions as regards the correct application of general terms. The two sets of authors propose two entirely different semantic treatments: Genone and Lombrozo espouse a hybrid semantics whereas Nichols, Pinillos and Mallon are inclined towards an appeal to ambiguity. I cast some doubts on the coherence of a hybrid (...)
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  16. Essay Review: Epistemic Categories and Causal Kinds. [REVIEW]P. D. Magnus - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 48:263-266.
    Within philosophy of science, debates about realism often turn on whether posited entities exist or whether scientific claims are true. Natural kinds tend to be investigated by philosophers of language or metaphysicians, for whom semantic or ontological considerations can overshadow scientific ones. Since science crucially involves dividing the world up into categories of things, however, issues concerning classification ought to be central for philosophy of science. Muhammad Ali Khalidi's book fills that gap, and I commend it to readers with an (...)
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  17. Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    This book pursues the question of how and whether natural language allows for reference to abstract objects in a fully systematic way. By making full use of contemporary linguistic semantics, it presents a much greater range of linguistic generalizations than has previously been taken into consideration in philosophical discussions, and it argues for an ontological picture is very different from that generally taken for granted by philosophers and semanticists alike. Reference to abstract objects such as properties, numbers, propositions, and degrees (...)
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  18. Empty Natural Kind Terms and Dry Earth.Corine Besson - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (3):403-425.
    This paper considers the problem of assigning meanings to empty natural kind terms. It does so in the context of the Twin-Earth externalist-internalist debate about whether the meanings of natural kind terms are individuated by the external physical environment of the speakers using these terms. The paper clarifies and outlines the different ways in which meanings could be assigned to empty natural kind terms. And it argues that externalists do not have the semantic resources to assign them meanings. The paper (...)
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  19. Rigid Designation and Natural Kind Terms, Pittsburgh Style.Michael P. Wolf - 2012 - Normative Functionalism and the Pittsburgh School.
    This paper addresses recent literature on rigid designation and natural kind terms that draws on the inferentialist approaches of Sellars and Brandom, among others. Much of the orthodox literature on rigidity may be seen as appealing, more or less explicitly, to a semantic form of “the given” in Sellars’s terms. However, the important insights of that literature may be reconstructed and articulated in terms more congenial to the Pittsburgh school of normative functionalism.
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  20. 'Chocolate' and Other Kind Terms: Implications for Semantic Externalism.Mark Greene - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (243):270-292.
    How do people manage to refer to chocolate, despite knowing so little about it? Traditional semantic externalism gives a two-part answer, a negative claim that meanings are not determined inside speakers' heads, and a positive claim that meanings are fixed by external factors. This gets the semantics of ‘chocolate’ half right: the negative claim is correct, but the positive claim is not. There is nothing special about ‘chocolate’, and scientifically respectable natural-kind terms also fail to live up to the positive (...)
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  21. General Terms, Rigidity and the Trivialization Problem.Genoveva Martí & José Martínez-Fernández - 2011 - Synthese 181 (2):277 - 293.
    We defend the view that defines the rigidity of general terms as sameness of designated universal across possible worlds from the objection that such a characterization is incapable of distinguishing rigid from non-rigid readings of general terms and, thus, that it trivializes the notion of rigidity. We also argue that previous attempts to offer a solution to the trivialization problem do no succeed.
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  22. Rigidity, Natural Kind Terms and Metasemantics.Corine Besson - 2010 - In Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (eds.), The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. Routledge. pp. 25--44.
    A paradigmatic case of rigidity for singular terms is that of proper names. And it would seem that a paradigmatic case of rigidity for general terms is that of natural kind terms. However, many philosophers think that rigidity cannot be extended from singular terms to general terms. The reason for this is that rigidity appears to become trivial when such terms are considered: natural kind terms come out as rigid, but so do all other general terms, and in particular all (...)
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  23. General Terms as Designators : A Defence of the View.Genoveva Martí & José Martínez-Fernández - 2010 - In Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (eds.), The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. Routledge. pp. 46--63.
    We argue that the view that kind terms designate universals does not fall prey to the trivialization problem. We also argue that the view can respond to other challenges, specifically, the claims that an adequate notion of rigidity for kind terms must: (a) classify natural kind terms as rigid and classify many other general terms as non-rigid and (b) account for the necessity of true theoretical identifications involving rigid terms.
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  24. The Commonalities Between Proper Names and Natural Kind Terms : A Fregean Perspective.Harold Noonan - 2010 - In Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (eds.), The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. Routledge. pp. 84-103.
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  25. Are Natural Kind Terms Special?Åsa Wikforss - 2010 - In Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (eds.), The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. Routledge.
    It is commonly assumed that natural kind terms constitute a distinct semantic category. This idea emerged during the 1970's following Kripke's and Putnam's well-known remarks on natural kind terms. The idea has stayed with us, although it is now recognized that the issues are considerably more complex than initially thought. Thus, it has become clear that much of Kripke's and Putnam's discussions were based on rather simplified views of natural kinds. It also turns out that the semantic issues are less (...)
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  26. Unlikely Bedfellows? Putnam and Hegel on Natural Kind Terms.Katharina Dulckeit - 2009 - In Angelica Nuzzo (ed.), Hegel and the Analytic Tradition. Continuum.
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  27. Rigid Kind Terms.Jussi Haukioja - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39:55-61.
    Kripke argued, famously, that proper names are rigid designators. It is often assumed that some kind terms (most prominently natural kind terms) are rigid designators as well. This is thought to have significant theoretical consequences, such as the necessity of certain a posteriori identities involving natural kind terms. However, there is no agreement on what it is for a kind term to be rigid. In this paper I will first take a detailed look at the most common view: that rigid (...)
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  28. Natural Kinds and Natural Kind Terms.Kathrin Koslicki - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):789-802.
    The aim of this article is to illustrate how a belief in the existence of kinds may be justified for the particular case of natural kinds: particularly noteworthy in this respect is the weight borne by scientific natural kinds (e.g., physical, chemical, and biological kinds) in (i) inductive arguments; (ii) the laws of nature; and (iii) causal explanations. It is argued that biological taxa are properly viewed as kinds as well, despite the fact that they have been by some alleged (...)
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  29. There Are Kinds and Kinds of Kinds: Ben-Yami on the Semantics of Kind Terms.G. Contessa - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 136 (2):217-248.
    Hanoch Ben-Yami has argued that the theory of the semantics of natural kind terms proposed by Kripke and Putnam is false and has proposed an allegedly novel account of the semantics of kind terms. In this article, I critically examine Ben-Yami’s arguments. I will argue that Ben-Yami’s objections do not show that Kripke and Putnam’s theory is false, but at most that the specific versions of it held by Kripke and Putnam have some weaknesses. Moreover, I will argue that Ben-Yami’s (...)
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  30. Externalism and a Posteriori Semantics.Sören Häggqvist & Åsa Wikforss - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (3):373 - 386.
    It is widely held that the meaning of certain types of terms, such as natural kind terms, is individuated externalistically, in terms of the individual's external environment. Recently a more radical thesis has emerged, a thesis we dub 'a posteriori semantics.' The suggestion is that not only does a term's meaning depend on the external environment, but so does its semantics. One motivation for this is the aim to account for cases where a putative natural kind term fails to pick (...)
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  31. General Terms and Non-Trivial Rigid Designation.Genoveva Marti & José Martínez-Fernández - 2007 - In C. Martínez (ed.), Current Topics in Logic and Analytic Philosophy. Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. pp. 103-116.
    we explore the view that defines rigidity of general terms as sameness of designation across possible worlds. On this view, a general term is rigid just in case it designates the same universal (species, substance or property) in every possible world. This view has been proposed most notably by Bernard Linsky, Nathan Salmon and more recently by Joseph LaPorte, and it has been criticised by several philosophers, including Stephen Schwartz and Scott Soames.
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  32. On Rigidity, Direct Reference and Natural Kind Terms.Luis Fernández Moreno - 2007 - In María José Frápolli (ed.), Saying, Meaning and Referring: Essays on François Recanati's Philosophy of Language. Palgrave-Macmillan.
  33. Names and Natural Kind Terms.David Braun - 2006 - In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 490--515.
    Names and natural kind terms have long been a major focus of debates about meaning and reference. This article discusses some of the theories and arguments that have appeared in those debates. It is remarkably difficult to say what names are without making controversial theoretical assumptions. This article does not attempt to do so here. It instead relies on paradigm examples that nearly all theorists would agree are proper names, for instance, ‘Aristotle’, ‘Mark Twain’, ‘London’, ‘Venus’, and ‘Pegasus’. All of (...)
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  34. Temporal Externalism, Natural Kind Terms, and Scientifically Ignorant Communities.John M. Collins - 2006 - Philosophical Papers 35 (1):55-68.
    Temporal externalism (TE) is the thesis (defended by Jackman (1999)) that the contents of some of an individual’s thoughts and utterances at time t may be determined by linguistic developments subsequent to t. TE has received little discussion so far, Brown 2000 and Stoneham 2002 being exceptions. I defend TE by arguing that it solves several related problems concerning the extension of natural kind terms in scientifically ignorant communities. Gary Ebbs (2000) argues that no theory can reconcile our ordinary, practical (...)
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  35. An Anti-Individualistic Semantics for 'Empty' Natural Kind Terms.Sanford Goldberg - 2006 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 70 (1):147-168.
    Several authors (Boghossian 1998; Segal 2000) allege that 'empty' would-be natural kind terms are a problem for anti-individualistic semantics. In this paper I rebut the charge by providing an anti-individualistic semantics for such terms.
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  36. Conceptual Stability and the Meaning of Natural Kind Terms.David Braddon-Mitchell - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):859-868.
  37. The Semantics of Names and Natural Kind Terms.Daniela A. Krasner - 2005 - Philosophia 33 (1-4):149-172.
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  38. Natural Kind Terms: A Neo-Lockean Theory.A. D. Smith - 2005 - European Journal of Philosophy 13 (1):70–88.
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  39. Necessity and Rigidly Designating Kind Terms.Ben S. Cordry - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 119 (3):243-264.
    Kripke claims that certainkind terms, particularly natural kind terms,are, like names, rigid designators. However,kind terms are more complicated than names aseach is connected both to a principle ofinclusion and an extension. So, there is aquestion regarding what it is that rigidlydesignating kind terms rigidly designate. Inthis paper, I assume that there are rigidlydesignating kind terms and attempt to answerthe question as to what it is that they rigidlydesignate. I then use this analysis of rigidlydesignating kind terms to show how Kripke''sreasoning (...)
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  40. Number Marking and (in)Definiteness in Kind Terms.Veneeta Dayal - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (4):393-450.
    This paper explores the link between number marking and(in)definiteness in nominals and their interpretation. Differencesbetween bare singulars and plurals in languages without determinersare explained by treating bare nominals as kind terms. Differencesarise, it is argued, because singular and plural kinds relatedifferently to their instantiations. In languages with determiners,singular kinds typically occur with the definite determiner, butplural/mass kinds can be bare in some languages and definite inothers. An account of singular kinds in terms of taxonomic readingsis proposed, with number marking playing (...)
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  41. Rigidity and General Terms.Genoveva Marti - 2004 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (1):131-148.
    In this paper I examine two ways of defining the rigidity of general terms. First I discuss the view that rigid general terms express essential properties. I argue that the view is ultimately unsatisfactory, although not on the basis of the standard objections raised against it. I then discuss the characterisation in terms of sameness of designation in every possible world. I defend that view from two objections but I argue that the approach, although basically right, should be interpreted cautiously.
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  42. Two Kinds of Universals and Two Kinds of Collections.Friederike Moltmann - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (6):739 - 776.
    This paper argues for an ontological distinction between two kinds of universals, 'kinds of tropes' such as 'wisdom' and properties such as 'the property of being wise'. It argues that the distinction is parallel to that between two kinds of collections, pluralities such as 'the students' and collective objects such as 'the class'. The paper argues for the priortity of distributive readings with pluralities on the basis of predicates of extent or shape, such 'large' or 'long'.
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  43. Two-Dimensionalism and Natural Kind Terms.Christian Nimtz - 2004 - Synthese 138 (1):125-48.
    Kripke and Putnam have convinced most philosophers that we cannot do metaphysics of nature by analysing the senses of natural kind terms -- simply because natural kind terms do not have senses. Neo-descriptivists, especially Frank Jackson and David Chalmers, believe that this view is mistaken. Merging classical descriptivism with a Kaplan-inspired two-dimensional framework, neo-descriptivists devise a semantics for natural kind terms that assigns natural kind terms so-called 'primary intensions'. Since primary intensions are senses by other names, Jackson and Chalmers conclude (...)
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  44. El Nuevo Enigma de la Inducción y Los Términos de Clase Natural.Ignacio Avila - 2002 - Critica 34 (100):55-85.
    En este ensayo intento mostrar el estrecho vínculo entre el asunto de la fijación de la extensión de los términos de clase natural y el problema de la proyectabilidad puesto de relieve por Goodman con su nuevo enigma de la inducción. Por un lado argumento que el nuevo enigma de la inducción pone de manifiesto la presencia de un elemento fregeano en la teoría de la referencia directa de Putnam y, por el otro, señalo la necesidad de que una respuesta (...)
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  45. Natural Kind Terms Are Similar to Proper Names in Being World-Independent.Ari Maunu - 2002 - Philosophical Writings 19:51-68.
    According to the New Theory of Reference, proper names (and indexicals) and natural kind terms are semantically similar to each other but crucially different from definite descriptions and “ordinary” predicates, respectively. New Theorists say that a name, unlike a definite description, is a directly referential nondescriptional rigid designator, which refers “without a mediation of the content” and is not functional (i.e. lacks a Carnapian intension). Natural kind terms, such as ‘horse’ and ‘water’, are held to have similar distinctions, in contrast (...)
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  46. Kripke, Putnam and the Introduction of Natural Kind Terms.Michael P. Wolf - 2002 - Acta Analytica 17 (1):151-170.
    In this paper, I will outline some of the important points made by Kripke and Putnam on the meaning of natural kind terms. Their notion of the baptism of natural kinds- the process by which kind terms are initially introduced into the language — is of special concern here. I argue that their accounts leave some ambiguities that suggest a baptism of objects and kinds that is free of additional theoretical commitments. Both authors suggest that we name the stuff and (...)
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  47. The Curious Role of Natural Kind Terms.Michael P. Wolf - 2002 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 83 (1):81–101.
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  48. The Semantics of Kind Terms.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 102 (2):155-184.
    This paper criticizes Kripke’s and Putnam’s theory of the semantics of natural kind terms (KPT) and develops an alternative theory. It first examines description theories of natural kind terms, to see what their flaws are and what can be preserved of them. It then presents the KPT and makes three main criticisms. These rely on the meaning of elementary particles’ names, on reactions to the absence of a common essential nature, and on applications of old terms to new cases. Lastly, (...)
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  49. Escape From Twin Earth: Putnam's 'Logic' of Natural Kind Terms.Carleton B. Christensen - 2001 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 9 (2):123-150.
    Many still seem confident that the kind of semantic theory Putnam once proposed for natural kind terms is right. This paper seeks to show that this confidence is misplaced because the general idea underlying the theory is incoherent. Consequently, the theory must be rejected prior to any consideration of its epistemological, ontological or metaphysical acceptability. Part I sets the stage by showing that falsehoods, indeed absurdities, follow from the theory when one deliberately suspends certain devices Putnam built into it , (...)
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  50. Refining the Causal Theory of Reference for Natural Kind Terms.P. Kyle Stanford & Philip Kitcher - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 97 (1):97-127.
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