Colloquium: Nov. 20th

Title: "Names & Titles"

Speaker: Roberta Ballarin (UBC)

Friday, November 20th at 2:30 CLE A203


In the last fifty years, the debate on the semantics of proper names has revolved around the opposition between Fregean descriptivism on the one hand, and the direct theory of reference on the other. Few have defended predicativism, the theory that names are predicates. Recently, Delia Fara has defended predicativism and has proposed the following semantic clause for names as predicates: A name ‘N’ (as a predicate) is true a thing if and only if it is called N. In this talk, I argue that the term ‘called’ is ambiguous and I present counterexamples to Fara’s semantic clause. I propose a revision of Fara’s semantic clause that resolves the ambiguity and is immune to the counterexamples. I also argue, against Fara, that her original semantic clause is subject to Kripke’s circularity objection, and that the revised version instead is not circular.