• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This auspicious new volume is designed for linguists who are interested in the deeper issues of their science. Introduction to Linguistic Philosophy lays a solid foundation of linguistic philosophy presenting theories of leading linguistic analysts such as Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, and Quine. I. E. MackenzieÆs exploration into these theories equips readers for advanced work on most topics in semantics and the study of language. The structure of this book reflects the fact that the philosophical study of language is not systematic, but centers on aspects of language that are considered to be of fundamental conceptual significance. Therefore, this book need not be read in any specific order. Whenever a chapter presupposes an understanding of something that is explained elsewhere in the book, a specific cross-reference is given. MackenzieÆs approach to the philosophy of language stresses the importance of observing how language is used rather than the assuming that it conforms to a pre-existing logical structure. In addition to dealing with foundational issues, such as truth, meaning, and the nature of language, this book explores specific linguistic phenomenaùdescriptions, names, non-extesional contexts and quantificationùwhich have attracted considerable philosophical attention. Introduction to Linguistic Philosophy is a student-centered resource that is recommended for students in linguistics, communication, and philosophy.

The Causal Theory of Names
The causal theory of names
5.1. Ordinary Proper Names
5.1.1. Epistemic and Metaphysical Necessity

In recent years, the American philosopher Kripke has stressed a distinction between what he calls epistemic necessity (1979a:241) and metaphysical necessity (1979a, pp. 273, 281). The two concepts can be illustrated by the following example:

(1) Beijing is Peking.

According to Kripke, an identity sentence involving two codesignative ordinary proper names—that is, two proper names standing for the same thing—cannot be false; hence the truth of (1) is not a matter of fact but of metaphysical necessity. On the other hand, the truth of (1) needs to be learned in order to be known, and therefore is not a matter of epistemic necessity. (The term ‘epistemic’ can be broadly paraphrased as ...

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