IIF   26912
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Walking the Roads to Reference
Universidad de Campinas
Lugar: Campinas; Año: 2020 vol. 43 p. 22 - 34
The article presents some criticism to the theory of reference for proper names developed by Mario Gómez Torrente in Proper Names and Referential Indeterminacy, the third chapter of his book Roads to Reference. He thereby proposes a set of conventions establishing merely sufficient conditions for the fixation and transmission of the reference of proper names. There are some aspects of the undoubtedly very original and rigorous proposal that have prompted me the following comments. First of all, it is not clear to me why the proposal, positing merely sufficient conditions, should be preferred to an account in terms of both necessary and sufficient conditions with ceteris paribus clauses. Secondly, according to Gómez Torrente?s proposal, a speaker must know the reference fixing and transmitting conventions to be competent with proper names; the knowledge in question need not be full knowledge, though, which means that the competent speaker must be somehow familiar with them. Gómez Torrente considers his position to be a minor concession to the descriptivist, namely, a concession that does not turn the account into a descriptivist one. My point is that the intermediate position that he wants to defend is not a stable one. Since Gómez Torrente is not very specific about the kind of knowledge involved (what he means exactly by not being knowledge in the full sense), it is not clear to me, first of all, if he takes it to be practical or propositional, and second, whether he regards it as properly semantic or not. Finally, the last point is more a question than a criticism, and it points to a specific topic, the analysis of fictional discourse, that Gómez Torrente has not explicitly included in the book, so that I would like to now how he might want to expand his proposal so as to address it. As it stands, the proposed conventions do not seem to straightforwardly account for the introduction and transmission of fictional names.