more from Mark Sainsbury

Single Idea 10429

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

Full Idea

It is better to say that 'For all x ("Hesperus" stands for x iff x = Hesperus)', than to say '"Hesperus" stands for Hesperus', since then the expression can be a name with no bearer (e.g. "Vulcan").

Gist of Idea

It is best to say that a name designates iff there is something for it to designate


Mark Sainsbury (The Essence of Reference [2006], 18.2)

Book Reference

'The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language', ed/tr. Lepore,E/Smith,B [OUP 2008], p.400

A Reaction

In cases where it is unclear whether the name actually designates something, it seems desirable that the name is at least allowed to function semantically.