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|Title:||Rigid Designation and Reference|
|Advisor:||Wilson, Neil L.|
|Abstract:||<p>This thesis seeks to provide a theory of reference which preserves the lack of non-rigid uses of proper names and, at the same time, takes into account the social character of naming. The theories of reference which we examine in this thesis either fail to preserve the rigidity of names or ignore the social character of names (usually both) or provide an incorrect principle of decipherment for proper names. Thus, the Description theory and the different versions of the Cluster theory of names suffer from the first two defects, while the Historical Explanation theory and the Causal theory of names provide an incorrect principle of decipherment for referentially ambiguous proper names. The importance of preserving the lack of non-rigid uses of proper names emerges in connection with the problem of trans-world identity. Following Kripke we argue that the problem of trans-world identity which arises in connection with the applied formal semantics for quantified modal logic can be dealt with by means of the notion of a rigid designator. More precisely, we argue that although Quine is correct in thinking that quantified modal logic is committed to some form of essentialism, his failure to come to terms with essentialism is rooted in the fact that he is unable to make sense of the very basic idea of a thing's having certain properties necessarily and independently of the means by which the thing is denoted and the property expressed. However, once we make a distinction between the need to provide a criterion of trans-world identify and the requirement that we make sense of the notion of one and the same object in different counter-factual situations, the problem of trans-world identity admits of an easy solution.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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