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The Semantics of Rigid Designation

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Abstract:

Frege's thesis that each singular term has a sense that determines its reference and serves as its cognitive value has come to be widely doubted. Saul Kripke argued that since names are rigid designators, their referents are not determined by senses. David Kaplan has argued that the rigid designation of indexical terms entails that they also lack referent–determining senses. Kripke's argument about names and Kaplan's argument about indexical terms differ, but each contains a false premise. The referents of both names and indexical terms are determined by reflexive senses. It is reflexive sense that makes these terms rigid designators.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9329.00204

Affiliations: Randolph–Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg, Virginia, Email: jjustice@rmwc.edu

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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