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Andrea Bianchi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714088.001.0001

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The Cognitive Contribution of Names

The Cognitive Contribution of Names

(p.189) 9 The Cognitive Contribution of Names
On Reference

John Perry

Oxford University Press

Frege directs our attention to the cognitive difference between statements with co-referring names, such as “Hesperus appears in the evening sky” and “Phosphorus appears in the evening sky.” This chapter argues that the direct cognitive contribution of names is their sound (or spelling), a question with which much subsequent work in semantics and pragmatics has wrestled. The speaker can plan on the perception of one name for an object to have a different cognitive effect than perception of another name for the same object, if the hearer has different beliefs about the bearers of the names: for example, a hearer who knows that ‘Hesperus’ is a name of the evening star, but doesn’t realize that ‘Phosphorus’ is. This chapter considers various reasons one might have for rejecting this straightforward answer to Frege’s problem, and compares this treatment to Frege’s in his Begriffsschrift and “On Sense and Reference.”

Keywords:   names, cognitive contribution, Frege, semantics, pragmatics

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