Grazer Philosophische Studien

Volume 49, 1994/95

Investigating Hintikka

Henri Lauener
Pages 101-119

How to Use Proper Names

According to relativized transcendentalism, the meaning of expressions, consisting in their intension and extension, is provided by a set of (syntactical, semantical and pragmatical) rules which prescribe their correct use in a context. We interpret a linguistic system by fixing a domain (of the values of the variables) and by assigning exactly one object to each individual constant and n-tuples of objects to predicates. The theory says that proper names have a purely referential role and that their meaning is therefore limited to the individual they designate. Since all singular terms must refer to exactly one referent there are no so-called empty names. A proper name is defined as a syntactically unstructured term in a language L used in a context C such that the truth condition for a sentence (Φα in L and C consists in the fact that, in accord with the rule which maps items from the set of individual constants into the set of objects, a refers to an object x and x satisfies Φ. It is shown how - by using this theory - puzzling problems concerning Frege's morning star and evening star, allegedly empty names, changes of name etc. can easily be solved.