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Proper NamesA Millian Account$
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Stefano Predelli

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778158

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198778158.001.0001

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A Tale of Two Horses

A Tale of Two Horses

(p.110) 7 A Tale of Two Horses
Proper Names

Stefano Predelli

Oxford University Press

Chapter 7 continues the author’s defence of Millianism against predicativist and descriptivist challenges. It discusses so-called ‘nominal descriptivism’ and the arguments presented in its favour, and proposes a novel interpretation of Kripke’s response to them. In particular, it focuses on Kripke’s ‘horse’ argument and defends an interpretation of it as an argument from best explanation. The chapter continues with a discussion of the phenomenon of ‘desemanticized’ proper names and with the presentation of a Millian analysis of the central examples cited as alleged evidence for the nominal descriptivist viewpoint. The conclusion reached is that these examples not only fail to threaten the Millian theory of names, but also that their nominal descriptivist analysis is independently unsatisfactory.

Keywords:   nominal descriptivism, Millianism, predicativism, proper names, Kripke

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