Departmental Bulletin Paper 非存在言明のパズルと単称命題
The Puzzle of Non-existential Statements and Singular Propositions

酒井, 智宏

36 ( . )  , pp.131 - 151 , 2015-09-30 , 東京大学大学院人文社会系研究科・文学部言語学研究室 , Department of Linguistics, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, Faculty of Letters, The University of Tokyo , 早稲田大学
論文 Articles
The purpose of this paper is to show that the puzzle of non-existential statements, which has long been considered to support Descriptivism, can in fact be accounted for within Singularism as suggested by J.S. Mill. The Millian view on the semantics of proper names regards proper names as labels for individuals. This view, however, is known to give rise to a puzzle when confronted with a non-existential statement such as "Pegasus does not exist", to the extent that the statement denies the very existence of Pegasus denoted by the subject NP. According to Descriptivism as defended by Russell, this puzzle suggests that alleged proper names in natural language are not proper names in the true sense of the term, but disguised descriptions. Since Descriptivism raises more problems than it solves, however, it is better to find a solution for the puzzle within the Millian framework. By drawing on Noya's (2002/2006) idea that non-existential statements are nothing but grammatical statements on the use of proper names, as well as on Recanati's (I 993) view that de Jure any proper name demands that its referent be thought of non-descriptively, this paper argues that the statement "PN does not exist" means that for any predicate Q, "Q (PN)" fails to express a singular proposition. The fact that this semantic description presupposes Singularism as opposed to Descriptivism suggests that, as against the traditional conception mentioned above, non-existential statements raise no puzzle for the Millian view on proper names.

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