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By J. van Rijen

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Example text

Yet consider how Elvis’s life could have turned out. He might never have been a singer. S. Army and died in the Korean War. It seems contingent that Elvis went on to do any of the things that he became widely known for. It follows that it is not a necessary truth that Elvis satisfies any of the above listed definite descriptions. (Cf. Kripke’s example of Aristotle: Kripke 1972, p. ) Kripke offers what he calls ‘a better picture’ of how we use names to refer to things. Suppose you chose to name something ‘Jo’.

We understand the distinction between (say) Tudor houses and mock Tudor houses because we know what a Tudor house is and we know what a mock Tudor house is. A mock Tudor house is a house resembling a Tudor house in architectural design 29 30 Philosophy of Language (and this can be further specified) but which the Tudors did not build. In the case of a mock sense, however, there seems nothing informative to say about mock senses other than that they are not senses but might be mistaken for senses.

81–2; Salmon 1989, pp. 265–6; Soames 2003a, pp. 46–7). Here is a related example. Suppose there is someone who is very knowledgeable about what the senses of various words are. Call this person ‘the Sage of Senses’. Someone else, call her ‘Barbara’, knows that the Sage is reliable and takes into account what the Sage has to say about which pairs of words do (or do not) have the same sense. Suppose that, in the case of ‘wager’ and ‘bet’ the Sage happens to get it wrong and misinforms Barbara that ‘wager’ and ‘bet’ differ in sense.

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