Why a Proper Name has a Meaning: Marty and Landgrebe vs. Kripke

  • Gottfried Gabriel
Part of the Primary Sources in Phenomenology book series (PSIP, volume 3)


In Marty’s Untersuchungen zur Grundlegung der allgemeinen Grammatik und Sprachphilosophie (Marty 1908, 438f., henceforth ‘U’) there is a long footnote about the semantic status of proper names. This footnote occasioned a remarkable defence of the thesis that proper names have meaning. The discussion, found in L. Landgrebe’s work on Marty (Landgrebe 1934, § 16), presents strong arguments against the currently popular causal theory of proper names. These arguments, which have an obvious relevance to Kripke’s views, will be discussed in what follows. I will not go into Landgrebe’s critique of Marty’s views. Instead, I will emphasize the shared strand of systematic argument. But before we come to the relevant passages, a few basic reflections about Kripke’s work on proper names are in order.


Definite Description Causal Theory Semantic Status Mental Phenomenon Common Noun 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

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  • Gottfried Gabriel

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