What's in a Name?
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In this thesis Russell’s Theory of Descriptions will be examined in its development over the years, i.e. the chronological development throughout several of Russell’s publications on the same subject. The result will be used to examine the criticism as stated by Kripke in his Naming and Necessity. This thesis will state a defense of Russell’s Theory of Descriptions against the criticism, using both a Russellian approach and a modified approach, which can be seen (roughly) as a synthesis between several parts of Russell’s and Kripke’s theories. The idea behind the synthesis is that Kripke faults Russell on replacing the name, as a syntactical unit, with description(s) in order to identify the (unique) object fulfilling a proposition. While Kripke uses a “perforce assumed particular reading” in order to do the same. If Russell, or in fact any description theorist, is allowed the same particular reading, most of Kripke’s criticisms disappear. While this synthesis can deal with Kripke’s criticisms concerning epistemology as well as modality, Russell’s Theory on Descriptions can deal with the epistemological problems without any modification. It will be concluded that Kripke’s arguments cannot be seen as knockdown for Russell’s Theory of Descriptions, because both accounts differ greatly in both goal and assumptions.