In Defence of a Kripkean Dogma

Over the winter, Jonathan Ichikawa, Ishani Maitra and I wrote up a paper on recent experimental work on reference. Here it is.

In Defense of a Kripkean Dogma

The paper is primarily a response to Against Arguments from Reference, though some of what we have to say is relevant to the arguments in Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style. Really, we want to make three points.

  1. The experimental data presented to date don’t undermine what Kripke says about the Gödel-Schmidt case;
  2. The Gödel-Schmidt case is only relevant to a very small part of Kripke’s overall theory of reference, so if he’s wrong about it the bulk of the theory is unaffected; and
  3. The main philosophical applications of Kripke’s theory have concerned the bits that are already established in Naming & Necessity before the Gödel-Schmidt case comes up, not the bits that are supported by the Gödel-Schmidt case. So even if the experiments do show that Kripke’s wrong about that case, not a lot follows for the applications of Kripke’s theory in the last four decades.

One Reply to “In Defence of a Kripkean Dogma”

  1. I started reading “Against Arguments from Reference” In the second sentence of the abstract there was a citation in parentheticals. At that point I knew they had lost the battle they had set out on and stopped reading.

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