Volume 118, Issue 5, May 2021
Empty Names, Presupposition Failure, and Metalinguistic Negation
When it comes to empty names, we seem to have reached very little consensus. Still, we all seem to agree, first, that our semantics should assign truth to (one reading of) negative singular existence statements in which an empty name occurs and, second, that names are used in such statements. The purpose of this paper is to show that ruling out that the names are mentioned is harder than it has been thought. I will present a new metalinguistic account for negative singular existence statements in which an empty name occurs, and I will show that the account can deal both with the objections to the traditional metalinguistic account and with other objections that seem to target my new proposal.