Jessica Pepp: "The flexibility of the speaker's reference-semantic reference distinction”

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng2-1022
  • Organiser: Department of Philosophy
  • Contact person: Matti Eklund
  • Seminarium

The Higher Seminar in Theoretical Philosophy

(NB, time)

Jessica Pepp, Uppsala University: "The flexibility of the speaker's reference-semantic reference distinction”

This chapter examines a parallelism between Donnellan's argument against Russell's theory of descriptions and Kripke's argument against descriptivism about proper name reference. Extrapolating from Hintikka's response to Donnellan, I use this parallelism to suggest that Hintikka could endorse a similar response to both arguments. This would lend a consistency to Hintikka's picture of linguistic reference that is lacking in Kripke's, I will argue. Like Hintikka, Kripke rejects Donnellan's arguments. Also like Hintikka, Kripke's form of response to Donnellan can be used to respond to Kripke's anti-descriptivist arguments. But unlike Hintikka, Kripke is committed to the power of the latter arguments. Hence, there is tension in Kripke's view. The tension is due to the fact that Kripke's main tool in responding to Donnellan, the distinction between speaker's reference and semantic reference, is too powerful and flexible to serve Kripke's purposes.