Descriptive Theory of Names

Discipline: Philosophy

Theory that proper names, or some of them, and words for natural kinds, like 'tiger' or 'water', have meaning by specifying a description that the object or stuff concerned must satisfy for the name to apply to it.

For example 'tiger' means 'fierce animal with stripes...', 'water' means 'colorless tasteless liquid suitable for drinking 'Homer' means 'poet who wrote the Iliad and Odyssey'.

Recently the theory has been attacked by advocates of the causal theory of names.

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