- Peirce's Pragmatic Theory of Proper Names
- Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 46, Number 3, Summer 2010
- pp. 341-363
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Peirce's pragmatic theory of proper names has commonly been taken to represent a relatively distant historical precedent to the ideas that have floated around the causal-historical theory of names. Yet his theory differs from the causal theory in crucial respects. I will point out its distinctive contextual, cognitive, and epistemic factors, not found in recent formulations of the causal theory, which are largely based on Peirce's unique conception of the workings of quantification in his logic. His pragmatic approach thus presents an alternative and at the same time broader account of the non-descriptive denotation of proper names than that provided by the causal-historical theory.