Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Barbara Montero

Committee Members

David Papineau

Heimir Geirrson

Subject Categories

Philosophy of Language


Proper names, Frege's Puzzle, Indexicals, Kripke's Puzzle, Rigid Designator, Millianism


I formulate a novel theory of proper names that is neither Millian nor Fregean to solve Frege’s puzzle. I argue that proper names are used as two kinds of indexicals. Sometimes a name is used indexically just to refer to its bearer. I call this a ‘Millian use’ of a name. Other times, a name is used indexically to refer to its bearer and to contribute the speaker’s descriptive conception of that bearer to the proposition. I call this a ‘Conception-indicating use’ of a name. Names are always rigid designators, both on Millian and Conception-indicating uses. I explain the cognitive value difference between ‘Clark Kent is Clark Kent’ and ‘Clark Kent is Superman’ by showing that they express different propositions. The propositional attitude ascription ‘Lois Lane does not realize that Clark Kent is Superman’ comes out as true, not false as Millians maintain.



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