Chapter One. The Debate over the Theory of Reference for Proper Names

  1. Frank Jackson

Published Online: 13 AUG 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444325362.ch1

Language, Names, and Information

Language, Names, and Information

How to Cite

Jackson, F. (2010) The Debate over the Theory of Reference for Proper Names, in Language, Names, and Information, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444325362.ch1

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 AUG 2010
  2. Published Print: 6 AUG 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405161589

Online ISBN: 9781444325362



  • debate, over theory of reference for proper names;
  • description theory of reference debate - for proper names;
  • deviating from anti-description theory message - by Kripke;
  • supervenience of reference on nature;
  • reference of proper names and description;
  • Tweedledum” referring to Tweedledum and not to Tweedledee - to supervenience of reference on nature;
  • availability issue - availability of property or description settling the reference;
  • question of folk knowledge of reference - determining property, incidental to the central question;
  • issues about personal level knowledge;
  • description theory and interchangeability


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Where we will make our start

  • The supervenience of reference on nature

  • The availability issue

  • What is required of a user of a name?

  • The issue about personal level knowledge

  • The demand for precise and explicit specifications

  • What is a theory of reference a theory of?

  • In the mouths of the very young

  • The description theory and interchangeability

  • What is to come and a final objection noted