Some consequences and critiques of The Pragmatic Theory of Properhood
Coates, R. (2011) Some consequences and critiques of The Pragmatic Theory of Properhood. Onoma, 41. pp. 27-44. ISSN 0078-463X
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2143/ONO.41.0.2119609
In several recent papers (Coates 2005a, 2005b, 2006a) I have suggested an approach to name theory which I have called a pragmatic theory of properhood, or, if I may elevate the descriptive phrase iconically into a proper name, The Pragmatic Theory of Properhood. Its principal feature is that properhood is defined by usage, as a mode of reference, and not as a structural feature by means of which nouns or names are sorted into proper and common ones a priori. I shall outline the other main features of the theory briefly, then explore some of the consequences which may appear, or have been claimed, to be controversial or undesirable. One of the points I raise will be preemptive, whilst the others have been raised critically by other scholars, namely Fran Colman, John M. Anderson, and Willy Van Langendonck.
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