Seminars

On the reference of proper names: a descriptivist proposal

Seminar on Language and Communication

Friday, April 24th, 2009, 12:00 pm,

Luis Fernández Moreno (Complutense University of Madrid)

Abstract

Kripke's most important arguments against the description theory of reference of proper names are the arguments from ignorance and error concerning names of historical figures. The aim of this paper is to put forward a reply to these arguments. The answer to them is grounded on the development of one component of the version of the description theory proposed by the authors that are regarded as the classical contemporary advocates of this theory, namely Searle and Strawson; one of the targets of Kripke's arguments is precisely the version of the description theory of reference submitted by these authors. The development of that component results in a sort of description theory of reference not affected by Kripke's arguments from ignorance and error concerning names of historical figures, namely deferential descriptivism.