In "Reference and Contingency", Gareth Evans maintains that it is possible for an expression both to be a proper name and to have a descriptive sense. Evans calls such names descriptive names. He further claims that if ‘a’ is a name whose reference is fixed by a definite description ‘the φ‘, then ‘a’ will have the same sense as ‘the φ‘. Against Kripke’s objection that names and descriptions are not interchangeable salva veritate within modal contexts, Evans argues that the objection is based upon a false assumption about the connection between contents (thoughts in Frege’s sense) and propositions (sets of possible worlds). On his view, a name whose reference is fixed by a definite description will take on the sense of the description but not its modal properties. One cannot therefore argue from a difference in proposition to a difference in content.
SMU Social Sciences and Humanities Working Paper Series, 2-2004
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TAN, Yoo Guan, "Thoughts and Propositions" (2004). Research Collection School of Social Sciences. Paper 22.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/22
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