• Wallows
    6.2k
    We've got the Philosophical Investigations reading group up and going. I'm reading it; but, don't have much to contribute to it.

    I was wondering if we could multi-task and address the book by Kripke called Naming and Necessity?

    Any takers?

    EDIT: Banno has started the reading group here: https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/230603
  • I like sushi
    112
    I own it and haven’t started reading it yet ... but I wasn’t planning to for a month or two either.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    I'll do it.Snakes Alive

    Great to have you on board @Snakes Alive!

    The Investigations thread is dying out as we speak, so I hope we can get this one started.
  • Banno
    3.7k
    Interesting.

    When this came out Kripke was the New Messiah.

    Will you start at the beginning, or before that, at the preface?
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    Will you start at the beginning, or before that, at the preface?Banno

    I'm not certain. I feel as though elucidating Kant's ideas about categories and a priori and a posteriori needs some elucidating if someone is unfamiliar with those notions. There's also a lot of Wittgenstein in Kripke or known as Kripkenstein.

    Do you care to lead this reading group? Pretty please?
  • Pierre-Normand
    1.5k
    There's also a lot of Wittgenstein in Kripke or known as Kripkenstein.Posty McPostface

    'Kripkenstein' is a reference to Kripke's particular take on Wittgenstein on interpreting a rule, which he (Kripke) expounded in his book Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. The topic is quite different from the topic of Naming and Necessity.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    'Kripkenstein' is a reference to Kripke's particular take on Wittgenstein on interpreting a rule, which he (Kripke) expounded in his book Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. The topic is quite different from the topic of Naming and Necessity.Pierre-Normand

    Oh, sorry about that mistake. I stand corrected. Do you care to join us on this reading group Pierre?
  • Pierre-Normand
    1.5k
    (...) Do you care to join us on this reading group Pierre?Posty McPostface

    For sure. I may not be able to participate assiduously, but, if this gets going, I'll likely comment occasionally.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    For sure. I may not be able to participate assiduously, but, if this gets going, I'll likely comment occasionally.Pierre-Normand

    Right on! Thanks for getting on board. I hope @Banno can assist us in the interpretive part of understanding the main gist of the book. Some narrative is always needed on these sort of things, IMO.
  • Banno
    3.7k
    Do you care to lead this reading group? Pretty please?Posty McPostface

    My time here is too erratic... trying to spend it learning bass and reading actual books.

    But I might start.

    Skip the Preface - we can come back to it for clarification.

    Proper names, then.

    They are not definite descriptions.

    Any questions?
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    Proper names, then.

    They are not definite descriptions.

    Any questions?
    Banno

    I will wait for other members to address this claim. But, can you explicate the rationale behind this conclusion?
  • Banno
    3.7k
    A definite description picks out one and only one individual. Agreed?

    And it can be successful even when it doesn't work - as the man with the champaign example shows.

    And the thing a proper name or a definite description picks out is its referent.

    Some curious stuff about unicorns that we can come back to.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    A definite description picks out one and only one individual. Agreed?Banno

    Yes; though, when we talk about the qualitative aspect of things or facts, they can be different than the quantitative aspect of that thing or fact.

    And it can be successful even when it doesn't work - as the man with the champaign example shows.Banno

    I'm not aware of this example. Can you please explain it to us folk?

    And the thing a proper name or a definite description picks out is its referent.Banno

    A proper name ought to have a rigid designator. Definite descriptions not necessarily so.

    Some curious stuff about unicorns that we can come back to.Banno

    Yes, what's your take on empty names like Harry Potter, Pegasus, or the definite description of the member of this forum who lives in Australia known as "Banno"?
  • Banno
    3.7k
    Now, what is the relation between names and descriptions? There is a well known doctrine ofJohn Stuart Mill, in his book A System of Logic, that names have denotation but not con­notation. To use one of his examples, when we me the name 'Dartmouth' to describe a certain locality in England, it may be so called because it lies at the mouth of the Dart. But even, he says, had the Dart (that's a river) changed its course so that Dartmouth no longer lay at the mouth of the Dart, we could still with propriety call this place 'Dartmouth', even though the name may suggest that it lies at the mouth of the Dart. Changing Mill's terminology, perhaps we should say that a name such as 'Dartmouth' does have a 'connotation' to some people, namely, it does connote (not to me-I never thought of this) that any place called 'Dartmouth' lies at the mouth of the Dart. But then in some way it doesn't have a 'sense'. At least, it is not part of the meaning of the name 'Dartmouth' that the town so named lies at the mouth of the Dart. Someone who said that Dartmouth did not lie at the Dart's mouth would not contradict himself
    (p.26)

    After setting up the terms involved, Kripke continues to push a wedge between names and descriptions. The notion is that name work, even when they do not satisfy some definite description. Notice here that he is working from common natural language examples.
  • Banno
    3.7k
    I'm not aware of this example.Posty McPostface

    So you may say, 'The man over there with the champagne in his glass is happy', though he actually only has water in his glass. Now, even though there is no champagne in his glass, and there may be another man in the room who does have champagne in his glass, the speaker intended to refer, or maybe, in some sense of 'refer', did refer, to the man he thought had the champagne in his glass.
    p. 25
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    I will wait for other members to catch up or contribute. Thanks.
  • Banno
    3.7k
    History. Both Frege and Russell, and as a consequence many others, took names to simply be shorthand for definite descriptions. But Kripke's interpretation of modal logic, possible world semantics, took it for granted that a name can refer to the very same individual in multiple possible worlds - rendering, for example, the possibility that I never posted on this forum as "in some possible world, Banno did not post on PF".

    I hope we can get by without too much formal logic here; but possible world semantics will always be sitting there, watching.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    I hope we can get by without too much formal logic here; but possible world semantics will always be sitting there, watching.Banno

    I wouldn't mind at least mentioning it. I like the juicy parts of a thorough analysis.
  • Banno
    3.7k
    SO by p.28 we have two competing theories of the relation between a name and a corresponding definite description. The first is that the name has both connotation and denotation, and hence the name may successfully refer, that is have a denotation, despite the connotation not being a suitable definite description.

    The second theory is that the description is what links the name to its referent; a proper name without a corresponding definite description fails to refer. Until the appearance of N&N, this was the preferred view.

    The elephant in the corner is that proper names can refer even if the corresponding definite description fails.
  • Banno
    3.7k
    Examples to be considered...

    First, the afore mentioned man who does not have a glass of champaign.

    Second, Dartmouth, which one succeeds in referring to even should it not stand at the mouth of the Dart.

    Third, The United Nations and the Holy Roman Empire.

    Fourth, an example from Twain.

    Fifth, Hesperus and phosphorus. We will probably revisit Venus.

    Sixth, existential Aristotle,
  • Wallows
    6.2k


    So, how does a name attain meaning? Through baptism?

    How does baptism occur for names and their referring rigid designators?
  • Banno
    3.7k
    Some of my own writing on Family Resemblance:
    Prior to Philosophical Investigations the ideal way to give the meaning of something had been thought to be by specifying both genus and differentia. So a 'triangle' is defined as 'a plane figure (genus) bounded by three straight sides (differentia)'. Logically, this sort of definition can be seen as a series of conjunctions; A triangle is a plane figure and has three sides. More generally, "P" might be defined using a simple conjunction of "A" and "B":

    P =def A AND B
    By examining closely the use of terms such as 'game', 'number' and 'family', Wittgenstein showed that for a large number of terms such a definition is not possible. Rather, in some cases a definition needs to be a disjunction of conjuncts,

    P =def (A AND B) OR (C AND D)
    but furthermore the way we use such terms means that we can both extend and detract from the series by adding or removing some of the conjunctions.

    P =def (A AND B) OR (C AND D) OR...
    Nor should we conclude that because we cannot give a definition of "game" or "number" that we do not know what they are: "But this is not ignorance. We do not know the boundaries because none have been drawn".[5]

    For a while I had much sympathy for Searle's approach (p.31), defending it using baptism; not too far from causal links, but inadequate.
  • Wallows
    6.2k


    I feel as though we should pause and go through the process of how names attaining their meaning through baptism, which is further instantiated through causal links. Care to explain and where should we be looking at in the text?

    Thank you.

    Modality of meanings deserves a mention too.
  • Wallows
    6.2k


    I'm still playing catch up. But, if you want to hear my dribble then a name attains meaning when it has a rigid designator that instantiates a concepts or a web of beliefs about it or otherwise known as definite descriptions in the world. My only concern is how do definite descriptions obtain wrt. to rigid designators.

    Again, modality is eluding me here.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    For example, what are causal links according to Kripke and how do they obtain in the world or possible world's?
  • Banno
    3.7k
    Let's take it slowly.

    a name attains meaning when it has a rigid designator that instantiates a concepts or a web of beliefs about itPosty McPostface

    My bolding.

    Consider pp. 31-33, where Kripke points to a difference between a name having a meaning, and a name singling out its referent. "Moses does not exist". If the sentence is true, and Moses does not exist, then "Moses" means, say "the man who led the Israelites out of Egypt"; and refers to nothing, since there is no such man.

    So there seems to be a difference between the meaning of a name and what it refers to.

    That is, the meaning of a name is not its referent.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    So Kripke says the following on page 33:

    For example, if someone said 'Aristotle does not exist' means 'there is no man doing such and such', or in the example from Wittgenstein, 'Moses does not exist', means 'no man did such and such', that might depend (and in fact, I think, does depend) on taking the theory in question as a theory of the meaning of the name 'Moses', not just as a theory of its reference. Well, I don't know. Perhaps all that is immediate now is the other way around : if 'Moses' means the same as 'the man who did such and such' then to say that Moses did not exist is to say that the man who did such and such did not exist, that is, that no one person did such and such. If, on the other hand, 'Moses' is not synonymous with any description, then even if its reference is in some sense determined by a description, statements containing the name cannot in general be analyzed by replacing the name by a description, though they may be materially equivalent to statements containing a description. So the analysis of singular existence statements mentioned above will have to be given up, unless it is established by some special argument, independent of a general theory of the meaning of names; and the same applies to identity statements. In any case, I think it's false that 'Moses exists' means that at all.Saul Kripke

    What does he mean by saying that a description need (not) to refer to an object for that object to have meaning in the first place? Am I sounding confused here?
  • Banno
    3.7k
    a description need (not) to refer to an object for that object to have meaning in the first place?Posty McPostface

    Objects have meaning?
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