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Topic: Causal theory of names

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  Causal theory of names - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Causal theories are usually advanced by philosophers who, following Kripke and Mill, deny both (1) that there is anything like a Fregean sense attached to a proper name, and (2) that ordinary proper names are (as Russell) held disguised definite descriptions.
Well, the name "Jane Doe" and the description "the person who was named 'Jane Doe'" have different modal properties: advocates of the causal theory hold that "Jane Doe" is a rigid designator whereas "the person who was named 'Jane Doe'" is (or could be used as) a non-rigid designator.
Gareth Evans has argued that the causal theory, or at least certain common and over-simple variants of it, have the consequence that however remote or obscure the causal connection between someone's use of a proper name and the object it originally referred to, they still refer to that object when they use the name.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Causal_theory_of_reference   (995 words)

 Proper name - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
If we understand the names, we should understand the information they carry, namely the identity of their bearers, and if we grasp their identity, we should understand automatically whether the statement is true or false.
The descriptive theory of proper names is the view that the meaning of a given use of a proper name is a set of properties that can be expressed as a description that picks out an object that satisfies the description.
The causal theory of names combines the referential view, with the idea that the name's referent is fixed by a baptismal act, whereupon the name becomes a rigid designator of the referent.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Proper_names   (950 words)

 Meaning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Literary theory, critical theory, and some branches of psychoanalysis are also involved in the discussion of meaning.
He showed that one consequence of his interpretation of certain systems of Modal logic was that the reference of a proper name is necessarily linked to its referent, but that the sense is not.
This results in the curios situation that part of the meaning of a name - that it refers to some particular thing - is a necessary fact about that name, but another part - that it is used in some particular way or situation - is not.
www.marylandheights.us /project/wikipedia/index.php/Meaning   (2028 words)

 The Dispositional Convention Theory of Direct Reference for Names
A Kripke-style direct or causal theory of reference for proper names claims that three necessary conditions are involved: 1) A baptismal condition; 2) A linguistically normal causal chain condition; 3) An intention by succeeding speakers in the chain to use a name to refer to the same item as previous speakers in the chain.
Thus overall, Kripke requires as necessary conditions for a name 'X' to be successfully used by a speaker Uj to refer to object X a combination of baptism, normal linguistic causal links, and an appropriate referential intention on the part of the speaker Uj, who thus acquires the link from speaker Ui.
To begin, recall that Kripke's theory claims that it is at least a necessary condition for a use of a name to refer to its bearer that its user should be normally connected to the relevant historical chain leading back to the initial baptism.
homepages.wmich.edu /~dilworth/TheDispositionalConventionTheoryofDirectReferenceforNames_talk.htm   (2973 words)

 Saul Kripke   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
Kripke proposed instead a Causal theory of names causal theory of reference, according to which a name refers to an object by virtue of a causal connection with the object as mediated through communities of speakers.
In this way, names are ''rigid designationrigid designators'': it refers to the named object in every possible worldspossible world in which the object exists.
Causal theories of reference have since been elaborated and developed by Hilary Putnam, Keith Donnelan, Gareth Evans (philosopher)Gareth Evans, and others, and are perhaps more widely held than descriptivist theories now.
www.infothis.com /find/Saul_Kripke   (930 words)

 Meaning and Naming
Having demolished description theories and their variations, Devitt and Sterelny then introduce their alternative, a "causal" theory in which an actual individual is "dubbed" with a name ("reference fixing"), and then a causal chain of transmission ("reference borrowing") transfers the name to new users [pp.66-67].
A "causal" theory of names thus presupposes the existence of direct reference, upon which it is parasitic.
Causality is not a cognitive relation, and that is because, as Hume famously perceived, the cause and the effect do not need to resemble, contain, or even suggest, each other in the slightest.
www.friesian.com /naming.htm   (3630 words)

 Causal theory of names   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
later uses of the name succeed in referring to the referent by being linked by a causal chain to that original baptismal act.
The theory is usually advocated by philosophers who deny that there is anything like a Fregean sense attached to a proper name (for example, Saul Kripke, the originator of the theory).
They say that, in order to say what a name means, all you have to do is account for what causes proper names to refer to the individuals to which they refer.
www.sciencedaily.com /encyclopedia/causal_theory_of_names   (856 words)

 Synopsis of 'The Causal Theory of Names' (pt. 1 of 2)
The Causal theory claims that S will still be denoting x by using the name 'Louis', even if he says something like 'Louis was a basketball player' as the result of a confusion.
Another reason to be drawn to the Causal theory is that it promises to solve some instances of the problem of ambiguity: to supply a basis for taking the sense of S's utterance to be that p, when it could also be interpreted to be to the effect that q or that r.
Evans claims that the causal condition is not necesarry, either, in that one may excognitate the correct name for x and use it to denote x, even with no causal chain at all.
mind.ucsd.edu /syllabi/95-97/strawson-evans/ctn1.html   (3709 words)

 [No title]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
Interestingly enough, though, he believes that his theory does not encompass naturally formed entities such as animals, as the necessity of origin from the same propagules is sufficient to avoid the problems inherent in the transworld identity of artifacts. Yet we can create analogous situations for living beings as we did for the ship.
Accepting the theory of essence strictly espoused in Naming and Necessity as is, we are able to construct a scenario in which two names (of two different beings) from this world refer to one being in another world, or conversely that one name from this world refers to two beings in another.
Conclusion Kripke’s theory of necessity is decidedly atemporal; viz.
www.u.arizona.edu /~brennan/Kripke.doc   (4165 words)

 Homework Assignment #2   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
Kripke argued that the referent of my use of a name is not that object that fits the descriptions that I associate with that name (or with the majority of such descriptions).
Evans argued that Kipke's general idea of a causal theory of names is correct but that Kripke doesn't quite have the idea right.
Set out as clearly as possible what Evans thinks the correct theory is. (Pretend you are writing this for a non-philosopher, so you should explain any technical notions, use examples, or do whatever you can to make it clear.) You don't need to give his arguments for his theory, just the theory itself.
www.uvm.edu /~mmmoyer/phil_196_s02/hw2.html   (306 words)

 Evans: The Causal Theory of Names
A name “N.N.” denotes X upon a particular occasion of its use by a speaker S just in case X is that which satisfies most of the descriptions P such that S would assent to “N.N. is P”.
Associated with a name used by a community of speakers is a set of descriptions cullable from their beliefs which an item has to satisfy to be the bearer of the name.
The strong thesis: that fitting the description is sufficient for the user of the name to refer to an object.
spruce.flint.umich.edu /~simoncu/325/evans.htm   (1110 words)

Theories of proper names will be considered first, as proper names are considered by many to be referring terms par excellence, and the means by which proper names refer is arguably unique to such expressions.
The most serious problem with the causal theory of reference (as sketched by Kripke) is that it appears to be at odds with the phenomenon of reference change.
Evans (1973) provides several examples of uses of proper names that are most naturally accounted for via a hybrid theory, according to which the reference of a proper name (as used by a speaker) is the dominant causal source of the body of descriptive information the speaker associates with the name.
plato.stanford.edu /entries/reference   (9579 words)

 Th Topic: causal theory of names   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
The causal theory of names states that a name denotes an item if there is a causal chain of reference-preserving links.
Quote: the name of a baby is spread by a chain of using the name in sorts of talk [»kripSA_1980]
Quote: the causal theory of names is incorrect; e.g., a tribe where every name is known by ostension and hence description [»searJR_1983]
www.thesa.com /th/th-78-73-175-th-242-55-158.htm   (629 words)

 Justin Fisher -- Distributing the Linguistic Division of Labor   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
Most promising are causal accounts which admit into consideration the causal relations between the many members of a speech community and the many instances of a natural grouping.
We need a theory of what terms are such that it makes sense to talk about the various ways in which a term has been used in a speech community.
This theory will account for how a person might form mental representations of various sample instances (taken qua mere things) of natural groupings she encounters.
www.u.arizona.edu /~jcfisher/papers/Labor1.htm   (2209 words)

 Book review of Saul Kripke   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
Tarski's theory is purely extensional (for each model the truth of a predicate is determined by the list of objects for which it is true), Kripke's modal logic is intensional.
Then he puts forth his causal theory of naming: initially, the reference of a name is fixed by some operation (e.g., by description), then the name is passed from link to link.
A name is not identified by a set of unique properties satisfied by the referent: the speaker may have erronous beliefs about those properties or they may not be unique.
www.thymos.com /mind/kripke.html   (448 words)

 Saul Kripke, “The Identity Thesis” (pp
The "causal theory" of reference: names refer to their referents by being causally connected to them in an appropriate fashion.
A particular token (use) of a name will belong to a causal chain of such tokenings (usages), which ultimately terminates in an "initial baptismal" event in which the referent is present.
Occasionally, causal chains can get entangled with one another, in which case it will be hard to determine exactly who or what uses of that name refer to.
www.unlv.edu /faculty/beisecker/Courses/Phi-405/KripkeNotes.html   (969 words)

 Philosophy 196   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
(Non-)Assignment #7 on Evans's 'The Causal Theory of Names'
Kripke suggested that my use of 'Aristotle' refers to the person Aristotle in virtue of there being a causal chain down which the name was passed, beginning with a dubbing of Aristotle with the name 'Aristotle' by his parents and being passed from person to person who learns the name.
Evans thinks the idea of a causal chain is on the right track, but he thinks the chain that determines my reference is not the chain down which the name has passed but the chain(s) down which information about Aristotle has passed.
www.uvm.edu /~mmmoyer/phil_196_s02/note8.html   (223 words)

 Naturalism in Legal Philosophy
M-naturalists, then, construct philosophical theories that are continuous with the sciences either in virtue of their dependence upon the actual results of scientific method in different domains or in virtue of their employment and emulation of distinctively scientific ways of looking at and explaining things.
Theory of adjudication is concerned not with the relationship between “evidence” and “scientific theory,” but rather with the justificatory relationship between “legal reasons” (the input, as it were) and judicial decision (the output): theory of adjudication tries to tell judges how they ought to justify their decisions, i.e.
What the example suggests is that the correct theory of legal interpretation is not a mere matter of philosophical semantics: issues about political legitimacy—about the conditions under which the exercise of coercive power by courts can be justified—must inform theories of legal interpretation, and such considerations may even trump considerations of semantics.
setis.library.usyd.edu.au /stanford/entries/lawphil-naturalism   (8173 words)

 Philosophy 134: Philosophy of Language
In this sentence, 'a' is a name, and '...is green' is a predicate.
Searle discerns an unacceptable consequence of a 'Russellian' theory of proper names (that is, a theory according to which a proper name is just a disguised definite description).
Russell's theory of descriptions was motivated by what Evans (in material we have not read) calls Russell's Principle, which is: In order for a speaker to refer to something, that speaker must be able to distinguish that thing from all other things.
mind.ucsd.edu /syllabi/00-01/phil_lang/!syllabus.html   (7501 words)

 philosophy questions 16
The two theories of how proper names refer are known as the 'cluster theory' and the 'causal theory'.
A baby is born, and given the name 'Turnip' by its loving parents.
The causal theory was first proposed by Saul Kripke in his paper 'Naming and Necessity' (1972).
www.philosophos.com /knowledge_base/archives_16/philosophy_questions_1618.html   (798 words)

 Th Quote: the causal theory of names states that a name denotes an ...   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
Th Quote: the causal theory of names states that a name denotes an...
Quote: the causal theory of names states that a name denotes an item if there is a causal chain of reference-preserving links; e.g., dubbing
The causal theory as stated by Kripke goes … item x if there is a causal chain … itself being involved in a name-acquiring transaction such … Google-1 Google-2
www.thesa.com /th/th-61-34-55-th-51-41-60.htm   (82 words)

 Encyclopedia article on Meaning [EncycloZine]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
Meaning, studied in philosophy and linguistics, as well as being central to the fields of literary theory and critical theory, the philosophical field of epistemology, and some branches of psychoanalysis, is a difficult concept to pin down.
Questions about how words and other signifiers mean and what it means to say a word or phrase is meaningful or nonsense are important to an understanding of language and human experience, but the answers to such questions are elusive at best.
Frege argued that it was therefore a mistake to think that the meaning of a name is the thing it refers to.
encyclozine.com /Meaning   (1548 words)

 Courses available 2005-06: Undergraduate degree in Philosophy
Each pair of essays must bear a motto but not the candidate's name and must be accompanied by (a) a statement of the sources from which the candidate has obtained information, and (b) a sealed envelope bearing the motto outside and containing the name of the candidate and the College.
Theories of the nature of mind: marks of the mental; dualism; behaviourism; mind-brain identity; functionalism; anomalous monism; eliminativism; mechanism and computation.
Each dissertation or pair of essays must bear a motto but not the candidate's name and must be accompanied by (a) a statement of the sources from which the candidate has obtained information, and (b) a sealed envelope bearing the motto outside and containing the name of the candidate and the College.
www.cam.ac.uk /cambuniv/guide/ugcourses/philosophy.html   (2846 words)

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