A Reply to Haze’s Argument Against Arbitrary Reference

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Meléndez Gutiérrez, Sofía  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1786-158X

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThis paper is a response to Haze’s brief argument for the falsity of the theory that instantial terms refer arbitrarily, proposed by Breckenridge and Magidor in 2012. In this paper, I characterise instantial terms and outline the theory of arbitrary reference; then I reconstruct Haze’s argument and contend that it fails in its purpose. Haze’s argument is supposed to be a jats:italicreductio ad absurdum:</jats:italic> according to Haze, it proves that a contradiction follows from the most basic tenets of the theory of arbitrary reference.  I will argue, however, that the contradiction in question follows not from these tenets, but from the surreptitious use that Haze makes of a self-referential expression. I conclude, consequently, that Haze’s argument is nothing more than an illustration of the well-known fact that self-referential expressions produce paradoxical results.</jats:p>


Funder: University of Cambridge

5003 Philosophy, 50 Philosophy and Religious Studies
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Springer Science and Business Media LLC