Volume 8, Issue 3, September 2020, Page: 75-81
Referencing Proper Names: Complementing the Analytic with the Phenomenological Approach
Arturo Leyva, Department of Teaching and Learning, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, United States; Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, United States
Received: Jul. 19, 2020;       Accepted: Aug. 6, 2020;       Published: Aug. 10, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijp.20200803.13      View  288      Downloads  123
This essay relates to proper names and how they can refer to individual persons, animals, or objects. An initial response to this question was the classical descriptivist theory. This theory was introduced by Frege and Russell, and presented the idea that we can think about specific things only indirectly via descriptive thoughts. Kripke developed a series of powerful arguments against descriptivism and proposed a casual theory for the referring function of proper names. The main idea in the causal approach is in passing on a name and its reference from one person to another. Another interesting approach to consider is predicativism, or the idea that proper names are just a special kind of common noun and that their semantic function is to designate properties of individuals. These approaches ─descriptive, causal, and predicative─. open a set of perspectives regarding a philosophical analysis of proper names, but offer no overarching bigger picture; consequently, there can be no secure consensus. Therefore, this paper proposes a phenomenological alternative that takes these useful elements and adds the idea that, in referring, the way an individual experiences the world is essential. The idea implies a two-way picture of reference-fixing, where the name and the referent are not necessarily a duality. The name refers to an object, but the object is presented as having that name as an aspect. If no individual object or person is presented to us as having a particular proper name as an aspect, the name is meaningless and does not refer.
Analytical Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Referencing, Phenomenology
To cite this article
Arturo Leyva, Referencing Proper Names: Complementing the Analytic with the Phenomenological Approach, International Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 8, No. 3, 2020, pp. 75-81. doi: 10.11648/j.ijp.20200803.13
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Frege, G. (1892). ‘Über Sinn und Bedeutung,’ Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik, 100 (1), pp. 25-50.
Russell, B. (1917). ‘Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description,’ Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 1910-1911. Reprinted in Mysticism and Logic. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd. Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble Books, 1951, pp. 152-167; pagination adopted according to the latter publication.
Wittgenstein, L. (1953). Philosophical Investigations. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Zahavi, D. (2007). ‘Killingthe Straw Man: Dennett and Phenomenology,’ Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (1-2), pp. 21-43.
Kripke, S. (1980). Naming and Necessity. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Ludlow, P. (2018). ‘Descriptions,’ in E. N. Zalta (ed.) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2018 Edition), pp. 96.
Collingwood, R. G. (1933). Essay on Philosophical Method. Oxford: Clarendon. Elugardo, R. (2002). ‘The Predicate View of Proper Names,’ in: G. Preyer and G. Peter (eds.) Logical Form and Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 467-503.
Beaney, M. (2013). ‘The Historiography of Analytic Philosophy,’ in: M. Beaney (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of The History of Analytic Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 42-60.
Moran, D. (2001). ‘Analytic Philosophy and Phenomenology,’ in: S. Crowell, L. Embree, and S. J. Julian (eds.) The Reach of Reflection: Issues for Phenomenology’s Second Century. London: Electron Press, 2001, pp. 409-433.
Walsh, P. J. and Yoshimi, J. (2019). ‘Philosophy of Mind in the Phenomenological Tradition,’ in: A. Kind (ed.) Philosophy of Mind in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries: The History of the Philosophy of Mind, Vol. 6. New York: Routledge, pp. 21-51.
Beaver, D. I. and Geurts, B. (2011). ‘Presupposition,’ in: E. N. Zalta (ed.) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2014 Edition). Available at https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/presupposition/ (30 April 2019).
Marquis, J.-P. (2015). ‘Category Theory,’ in: E. N. Zalta (ed.) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2015 Edition). Available at https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/category-theory/ (30 April 2019).
Rowlands, M. (2010). The New Science of the Mind: From Extended Mind to Embodied Phenomenology. Cambridge: MIT Press. Russell, B. (1905). ‘On Denoting,’ Mind 114, pp. 479-493; 456, pp. 873-887 (orig), pp. 183, 186.
Potrč, M. and Šuvaković, M. (2016). ‘Referential Zero Point,’ Journal of Art and Media Studies (9), pp. 13-22.
Zahavi, D. (2017). Husserl’s Legacy: Phenomenology, Metaphysics, and Transcendental Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Michaelson, E. and Reimer, M. (2019). ‘Reference,’ in: E. N. Zalta (ed.) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2019 Edition).
Saussure, F. de (1916). Cours de linguistique générale. Paris: Payot. Saussure, F. de (1998). ‘Cours de linguistique Générale,’ in C. Bally and A. Sechehaye (eds.) R. Harris (trans.) Course in General Linguistics. New York: Open Court.
Ludlow, P. (2018). Descriptions In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Stanford: Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
Kaplan, D. (1989). ‘Demonstratives,’ in: J. Almog, J. Perry, and H. K. Wettstein (eds.) Themes from Kaplan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 481-564.
Fara, D. (2015). ‘Names are predicates,’ Philosophical Review 124 (1), pp. 59-117.
Elugardo, R. (2002). The predicate view of proper names. In G. Preyer & G. Peter (Eds.), Logical form and language. Oxford [UK]: Oxford University Press, pp. 467¬–503.
Martí, G. (2017). ‘Names, Predicates, and the Object-Property Distinction,’ in: M. De Ponte, and K. Korta (eds.) Reference and Representation in Thought and Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 14-19.
Matushansky, O. (2008). ‘On the Linguistic Complexity of Proper Names,’ Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (5), pp. 573-627.
Montminy, M. (2010). ‘Context and Communication: A Defense of Intentionalism,’ Journal of Pragmatics 42 (11), pp. 2910-2918.
Zahavi, D. (2007). Killing the straw man: Dennett and phenomenology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (1–2): 21–43.
Inkpin, A. (2016). Disclosing the World: On the Phenomenology of Language. Cambridge: MIT Press, pp. 17, 224.
Rowlands, M. (2018) Disclosing the world: Intentionality and 4e cognition. In A. Newen, L. De Bruin, & S. Gallagher (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of 4E cognition (p. 335–352). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Stivers, T., Enfield, N. J., and Levinson, S. C. (2007). ‘Person Reference in Interaction,’ in: N. J. Enfield and T. Stivers (eds.) Person Reference in Interaction: Linguistic, Cultural, and Social Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-20.
Brédart, S. (2017). ‘The Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience of Naming People,’ Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 83, pp. 145-154.
Browse journals by subject