Remarks on the philosophy of names
Thinking about names has exercised most of the leading figures in philosophy. However, Mill's work brought into focus what has remained perhaps the major issue, arising from his contention that names are ‘non-connotative’, i.e., lack sense, in the terminology of Chapter 3. Mill's view has been challenged by ‘descriptivists’, particularly in the form of the need for ‘descriptive backing’. Much of the criticism of Mill is misguided, especially in confusing sense with (co-)reference. Others have added to Mill's account an emphasis on the importance of ‘baptisms’ (nomination) in fixing reference; but the relevance of the sometimes associated notion of ‘rigid designation’ to the characterization of names is doubtful. As with ‘onymic’ reference, Recanati's account of direct reference underplays the categoriality of individual names; but is otherwise close to the views advocated in Chapter 9, which adopts a modified Millian position allowing for basic differences in sense (animacy) among names.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.