Semantic Burden-Shifting and Temporal Externalism
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
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.