Article/Publication Details

Proper Names in Reference: Beyond Searle and Kripke

(Original title: Proper Names in Reference: Beyond Searle and Kripke)
Organon F, 2005, vol. 12, No 3, pp. 241-259.
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Abstract

Two basic answers have been given to the question whether proper names have meaning, the negative by Mill and later developed by Kripke and the affirmative by Frege and later developed by Searle. My aim is to integrate the two apparently irreconcilable theories by distinguishing the two aspects of the issue. I claim that, roughly speaking, whereas Kripke’s No Sense View provides a good answer to the question, “How are proper names linked to their referents?”, Searle’s Sense View provides a good account of the issue “What do we do when we use a proper name?”. Furthermore, I claim that the speakers attend to the referent of the proper name both in virtue of Kripkean chain of communication and in virtue of Searlian occasion-relative sense. Ordinarily, the chain of communication and the Searlian sense yield the same result, i.e. lead to the same referent. In cases of conflict, which are very rare, my intuition sides with the former against the latter. It would seem, therefore, that the only necessary and sufficient condition for a successful reference with a proper name is the existence of the Kripkean chain which links it with its referent.

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