Article/Publication Details

Semantics of Proper Names (I): Has a Theory of Meaning of Proper Names Meaning

(Original title: Sémantika vlastných mien (I): Má teória významu vlastných mien význam?)
Organon F, 2000, vol. 7, No 3, pp. 257-280.
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The aim of the paper is to argue against well-known Fregean idea according to which the meaning of a proper name determines the referent of the name, and the consequence thereof that semantically interesting proper names can be characterized independently of the notion of referent. The claim that it is meaningful to formulate a theory of meaning only for those names that has referents is defended. Several important morals concerning proper names follow from the claim. 1. The role of a theory of meaning is in fact radically different than it is supposed by Fregean approaches. 2. The meaning of a name cannot determine its referent, and therefore mediate the relation of reference between a name and an object. 3. A theory of reference of proper names, contrary to Fregean point of view, should be taken as primary to a theory of meaning.

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