Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 317–326 | Cite as

Public proper names and idiolectal identifying descriptions

Research Article


Direct reference theorists tell us that proper names have no semantic value other than their bearers, and that the connection between name and bearer is unmediated by descriptions or descriptive information. And yet, these theorists also acknowledge that we produce our name-containing utterances with descriptions on our minds. After arguing that direct reference proponents have failed to give descriptions their due, I show that appeal to speaker-associated descriptions is required if the direct reference portrayal of speakers wielding and referring with public names is to succeed.


Proper names Descriptions Direct reference Kripke 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA

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