Semantic Burden-Shifting and Temporal Externalism
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Temporal externalism is the view that the meanings and extensions of linguistic expressions can be partly determined by contingent linguistic and/or conceptual developments that take place after the time of utterance. In this paper, I first clarify what it would take for temporal externalism to be true, relying on the notion of burden-shifting dispositions. I then go on to argue that existing thought experiments give us reason to expect that temporal externalism can be true of some natural kind terms, and present a new thought experiment suggesting it can also be true of some proper names.