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Reference in the Land of the Rising Sun: A Cross-cultural Study on the Reference of Proper Names

Sytsma, Justin and Livengood, Jonathan and Sato, Ryoji and Oguchi, Mineki (2015) Reference in the Land of the Rising Sun: A Cross-cultural Study on the Reference of Proper Names. [Published Article]

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    A standard methodology in philosophy of language is to use intuitions as evidence. Machery, Mallon, Nichols, and Stich (2004) challenged this methodology with respect to theories of reference by presenting empirical evidence that intuitions about one prominent example from the literature on the reference of proper names (Kripke’s Gödel case) vary between Westerners and East Asians. In response, Sytsma and Livengood (2011) conducted experiments to show that the questions Machery and colleagues asked participants in their study were ambiguous, and that this ambiguity affected the responses given by Westerners. Sytsma and Livengood took their results to cast doubt on the claim that the current evidence indicates that there is cross-cultural variation in intuitions about the Gödel case. In this paper we report on a new cross-cultural study showing that variation in intuitions remains even after controlling for the ambiguity noted by Sytsma and Livengood.

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    Item Type: Published Article
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
    Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
    Depositing User: Justin Sytsma
    Date Deposited: 18 May 2015 11:13
    Last Modified: 18 May 2015 11:13
    Item ID: 11466
    Journal or Publication Title: Review of Philosophy and Psychology
    Official URL:
    DOI or Unique Handle.: 10.1007/s13164-014-0206-3

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