pp 1–23 | Cite as

Russellians can solve the problem of empty names with nonsingular propositions

  • Thomas Hodgson


Views that treat the contents of sentences as structured, Russellian propositions face a problem with empty names. It seems that those sorts of things cannot be the contents of sentences containing such names. I motivate and defend a solution to the problem according to which a sentence may have a singular proposition as its content at one time, and a nonsingular one at another. When the name is empty the content is a nonsingular Russellian structured proposition; when the name is not empty the content is a singular Russellian structured proposition.


Content Empty names Propositions Reference Russellianism 



I thank Maria Baghramian, Michael Bench-Capon, Niall Connolly, Daniel Deasy, Finnur Dellsén, Jonathan Farrell, Giulia Felappi, Geoff Georgi, Minyao Huang, Ivan V. Ivanov, Genoveva Martí, James Miller, Edward Nettel, Dilip Ninan, Joey Pollock, Elmar Geir Unnsteinsson, Keith Wilson, and Zsófia Zvolensky, several anonymous referees, and audiences at University College Dublin, an Early Career Mind Network forum at the University of Glasgow, a Dublin Philosophy Research Network workshop, and the Context Dependence in Language, Action and Cognition conference at the University of Warsaw. This research was supported by an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College DublinBelfield, Dublin 4Ireland

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