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By Bas C. Van Fraassen

An introductory, old survey of philosophical positions on house and time, throughout the specific thought of relativity and the causal conception of time.

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These conditions on dubbing give us a good prima facie contrast between proper names and defi nite descriptions. For one thing, (Creativity) has no clear application to the latter, because defi nite descriptions are typically made up of expressions that are already in the language. So there is no real introduction or creation of such a description, but rather the putting together of expressions that have already been assigned a meaning. Moreover, (Unicity) is not a condition on the use of a defi nite description, whose meaning is not tied to there being a unique referent: defi nite descriptions can be empty or pick out several objects.

Oxford: Oxford University Press. Boyd, R. (1991) ‘Realism, anti-foundationalism and the enthusiasm for natural kinds’, Philosophical Studies, 61: 127–48. Descartes, R. (1996) ‘Meditations on fi rst philosophy’, in Meditations on First Philosophy, ed. and trans. J. ), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Dupré, J. (1986) ‘Sex, gender and essence’ in P. French, T. Uehling, and H. Wettstein, (eds), Studies in Essentialism: Midwest Studies in Philosophy XI, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 441–57.

4): pace conceptual role semantics, according to the accommodationist view alchemists succeeded in referring to sulphur and mercury despite the fact that the ‘most central and explanatory patterns they associated with the relevant terms’ were utterly misguided (228). Similarly, human sociobiologists succeed in referring to real aspects of human behaviour—altruism, competition, and so on—despite the fact that sociobiology enshrines inferential commitments that are deeply confused. Boyd’s commitment to the Kripke-Putnam programme, then—or at any rate to a broadly causal theory of reference—is part of a broader commitment both to naturalism and to realism understood in (by many metaphysicians’ standards) a somewhat deflationary sense.

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