Acta Analytica 29 (4):413-426 (2014)

Michael Oliva Córdoba
Universität Hamburg
The paper unfolds a non-modal problem for (moderate) meta-linguistic descriptivism, the thesis that the meaning of a proper name (e.g. ‘Aristotle’) is given by a meta-linguistic description of a certain type (e.g. ‘the bearer of “Aristotle”’). According to this theory, if ⌜α⌝ is a proper name, it is a sufficient condition for the name’s being significant that the description ⌜the bearer of ⌜α⌝⌝ is significant. However, a quotational expression may be significant even when the expression quoted is not. Therefore, proper names and their corresponding descriptions cannot be synonymous, and the corresponding descriptions cannot be viewed as giving the meanings of proper names. So, even if it was immune to Kripke-style modal criticisms, moderate meta-linguistic descriptivism would still seem to founder on the rocks of the opacity of quotation
Keywords Descriptivism  Quotation  Descriptions  Proper names  Kripke
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-014-0217-9
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References found in this work BETA

From a Logical Point of View.W. V. O. Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.
Thought and Reference.Kent Bach - 1987 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Proper Names.John R. Searle - 1958 - Mind 67 (266):166-173.
Sense and Reference.Gottlob Frege - 1948 - Philosophical Review 57 (3):209-230.

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Descriptivism Without Quotation.Dirk Franken - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):367-379.

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