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Title: David, Some Davids, and All Davids: Reference, Category Change, and Bearerhood of Real-Life Names
Author: Delgado Aqueveque, Laura Angelina
Director/Tutor: García-Carpintero, Manuel
Keywords: Filosofia del llenguatge
Philosophy of language
Issue Date: 25-May-2018
Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract: [eng] This essay is devoted to the study of proper names. Although the view that sees proper names as referential singular terms is widely considered orthodoxy, there is a growing popularity to the view that proper names are predicates. This is partly because the orthodoxy faces two anomalies that Predicativism can solve: on the one hand, proper names can have multiple bearers. But multiple bearerhood is prima facie a problem to the idea that proper names have just one individual as referent. On the other hand, proper names can have predicative uses. But the view that proper names are singular terms arguably does not have the resources to deal with these uses. In this dissertation I argue that the Predicate View of proper names is mistaken. In the first part of the thesis, I analyse this view in its main con- tentions and offer several arguments to reject it. This critical exercise provides useful insight into the life of proper names that I incorporate in my own view as follows: I argue that the behaviour of proper names should be understood in light of the wider phenomenon I call category change. Thus, I maintain, with orthodoxy, that proper names are fundamentally referential terms, but I also argue that they also have other uses, including the predicative uses highlighted by the predicativist. I also offer a semantic theory according to which proper names are polyreferential, that is, they are terms that can have more than one referent in a way that is distinct from both plural terms and general terms. This theory resolves the problem of multiple bearerhood and provides a base to account for all other uses of proper names that are not referential, i.e., common noun, adjectival and verbal uses, as semantically derived from the more fundamental referential meaning.
Appears in Collections:Tesis Doctorals - Facultat - Filosofia

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