Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The traditional descriptivist distinction between the sense and reference of a proper name came under attack in the twentieth century. Quine’s attack on synonymy (sameness of sense) undermined the analytic–synthetic distinction, but his argument, in the form he gave it, depended on equating analyticity and necessity. Kripke and Putnam attack the idea that the sense of a name determines its reference and serves as a mode of presentation for its reference. They generalize their arguments to natural kind terms too. Kripke articulates a different way to understand necessity that reveals the possibility of contingent apriori and necessary aposteriori truths, thus breaking the connection Quine saw between analyticity and necessity, while leaving much of substance in Quine’s criticisms of the notion of synonymy intact. We place Putnam somewhere between Quine and Kripke on meaning, necessity, and analyticity. We close with an examination of the central use of philosophical intuition in these arguments and think Quine would find much to like in the rise of experimental philosophy.

Keywords: W. V. O. Quine, S. Kripke, H. Putnam, sense, reference, analyticity, apriority, aposteriority, necessity, necessary aposteriori, contingent apriori, synonymy, analytic–synthetic distinction, philosophical intuitions

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.