Russell’s Descriptivism About Proper Names and Indexicals: Reconstruction and Defense

  • Francesco OriliaEmail author
Part of the History of Analytic Philosophy book series (History of Analytic Philosophy)


In his lectures on logical atomism Russell maintains that (1) the proper names of natural language are really definite descriptions, and (2) indexicals are also definite descriptions, to the extent that they are used to refer to ordinary objects. In spite of the dominant referentialist trend championed by Kripke and Kaplan, there are good reasons to still think that Russell is right in holding these views. However, Russell’s descriptivist account of proper names and indexicals makes their meanings unpalatably idiosyncratic or subjective. This essay discusses and compares some ways in which this subjectivism can be avoided.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di studi Umanistici, Sezione di Filosofia e Scienze UmaneUniversity of MacerataMacerataItaly

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