Referencing Proper Names: Complementing the Analytic with the Phenomenological Approach
International Journal of Philosophy
Volume 8, Issue 3, September 2020, Pages: 75-81
Received: Jul. 19, 2020;
Accepted: Aug. 6, 2020;
Published: Aug. 10, 2020
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Arturo Leyva, Department of Teaching and Learning, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, United States; Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, United States
This essay relates to proper names and how they can refer to individual persons, animals, or objects. An initial response to this question was the classical descriptivist theory. This theory was introduced by Frege and Russell, and presented the idea that we can think about specific things only indirectly via descriptive thoughts. Kripke developed a series of powerful arguments against descriptivism and proposed a casual theory for the referring function of proper names. The main idea in the causal approach is in passing on a name and its reference from one person to another. Another interesting approach to consider is predicativism, or the idea that proper names are just a special kind of common noun and that their semantic function is to designate properties of individuals. These approaches ─descriptive, causal, and predicative─. open a set of perspectives regarding a philosophical analysis of proper names, but offer no overarching bigger picture; consequently, there can be no secure consensus. Therefore, this paper proposes a phenomenological alternative that takes these useful elements and adds the idea that, in referring, the way an individual experiences the world is essential. The idea implies a two-way picture of reference-fixing, where the name and the referent are not necessarily a duality. The name refers to an object, but the object is presented as having that name as an aspect. If no individual object or person is presented to us as having a particular proper name as an aspect, the name is meaningless and does not refer.
Referencing Proper Names: Complementing the Analytic with the Phenomenological Approach, International Journal of Philosophy.
Vol. 8, No. 3,
2020, pp. 75-81.
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