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Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia

Volume 13, Issue 3, Septiembre 1998

Josep Macià
Pages 445-476

Does Naming and Necessity Refute Descriptivism?

In Naming and Necessity Saul Kripke offers a number of arguments in order to show that no descriptivist theory of proper names is correct. We present here a certain version of descriptivist theory -we will characterize it as an individual-use reference-fixing descriptivist theory that appeals to descriptions regarding how a name is used by other speakers. This kind of theory can successfully answer all the objections Kripke puts forward in Naming and Necessity. Such sort of descriptivist theory is furthermore compatible with the picture about reference that Kripke presents. It also seems to be able to account for some phenomena that are difficult to explain on Kripke’s view (the existence of informative identity statements and true negative singular existential statements).

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