Author: Dolf Rami
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Dolf Rami contributes to contemporary debates about the meaning and reference of proper names by providing an overview of the main challenges and developing a new contextualist account of names. Questions about the use and semantic features of proper names are at the centre of philosophy of language. How does a single proper name refer to the same thing in different contexts of use? What makes a thing a bearer of a proper name? What is their meaning? Guided by these questions, Rami discusses Saul Kripke's main contributions to the debate and introduces two new ways to capture the rigidity of names, proposing a pluralist version of the causal chain picture. Covering popular contextualist accounts of names, both indexical and variabilist, he presents a use-sensitive alternative based on a semantic comparison between names, pronouns and demonstratives. Extending and applying his approach to a wide variety of uses, including names in fiction, this is a comprehensive explanation of why we should interpret proper names as use-sensitive expressions.