A pragmatic defense of Millianism

Philosophical Studies 138 (2):271 - 289 (2008)
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Abstract

A new kind of defense of the Millian theory of names is given, which explains intuitive counter-examples as depending on pragmatic effects of the relevant sentences, by direct application of Grice’s and Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory and uncontroversial assumptions. I begin by arguing that synonyms are always intersubstitutable, despite Mates’ considerations, and then apply the method to names. Then, a fairly large sample of cases concerning names are dealt with in related ways. It is argued that the method, as applied to the various cases, satisfies the criterion of success: that for every sentence in context, it is a counter-example to Millianism to the extent that it has pragmatic effects (matching speakers’ intuitions).

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Arvid Båve
University of Lisbon

Citations of this work

Compositionality.Zoltán Gendler Szabó - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A Deflationary Theory of Reference.Arvid Båve - 2009 - Synthese 169 (1):51 - 73.
Deflationism and the Primary Truth Bearer.Arvid Båve - 2010 - Synthese 173 (3):281 - 297.
One Dogma of Millianism.Derek Ball & Bryan Pickel - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):70-92.
Propositions, Meaning, and Names.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - 2018 - Philosophical Forum 49 (3):335-362.

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References found in this work

Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Situations and Attitudes.Jon Barwise & John Perry - 1981 - Journal of Philosophy 78 (11):668-691.

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