• Johnono
    1
    Hi guys I'm fairly new to philosophy of language and have started to learn about the basics. Ive been introduced to Kripke and his argument that proper names are rigid desgnators in that they refer to the same individual in all possible worlds. My question is how does one make this consistent with his causal-historical theory of reference. An individual in another possible world cannot form part of a casual historical chain that Kripke alleges is necassary for a proper name to refer to that individual?
  • schopenhauer1
    3.6k
    Hi guys I'm fairly new to philosophy of language and have started to learn about the basics. Ive been introduced to Kripke and his argument that proper names are rigid desgnators in that they refer to the same individual in all possible worlds. My question is how does one make this consistent with his causal-historical theory of reference. An individual in another possible world cannot form part of a casual historical chain that Kripke alleges is necassary for a proper name to refer to that individual?Johnono

    I refer you to @Banno.
  • Banno
    6.6k
    Cheers.

    My question is how does one make this consistent with his causal-historical theory of reference. An individual in another possible world cannot form part of a casual historical chain that Kripke alleges is necassary for a proper name to refer to that individual?Johnono

    It's easy to over-think this. There re plenty of threads around this forum that display how not to understand Kripke.

    It's important to understand that Kripke intends the causal historical chain as a suggestion of what might be going on, as an alternative to the descriptivist account. As he famously says, any philosophical theory is wrong. How to make sense of this?

    I understand it as pointing out that the problem of how names refer is not a philosophical problem, so much as a psychological, sociological and historical one. Or if you prefer, the answer to how names refer is that they just do; the answer to why soma particular name refers is historical, not philosophical.

    Perhaps asking how names refer is like asking how it could be that a screw driver just happens to fit the head of a screw. It's because that's what they were made to do.

    What do you think?
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