Single Idea 18946

[catalogued under 5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / e. Empty names]

Full Idea

As speakers of the language, we unreflectively assume that there are nonexistents, and that reference to them is possible.

Gist of Idea

Unreflectively, we all assume there are nonexistents, and we can refer to them


Marga Reimer (The Problem of Empty Names [2001], p.499), quoted by Sarah Sawyer - Empty Names 4

Book Reference

'Routledge Companion to Phil of Language', ed/tr. Russell/Graff Faria [Routledge 2015], p.159

A Reaction

Sarah Swoyer quotes this as a good solution to the problem of empty names, and I like it. It introduces a two-tier picture of our understanding of the world, as 'unreflective' and 'reflective', but that seems good. We accept numbers 'unreflectively'.