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Language, Names, and Information

ISBN: 978-1-4051-6158-9
176 pages
August 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
Language, Names, and Information (1405161582) cover image


Language, Names, and Information is an important contribution to philosophy of language by one of its foremost scholars, challenging the pervasive view that the description theory of proper names is dead in the water, and defending a version of the description theory from a perspective on language that sees words as a wonderful source of information about the nature of the world we live in.
  • Challenges current pervasive view that the description theory of reference for proper names has been refuted
  • Discusses several topics at the center of current debates, including representation and information, two-dimensionalism, possible worlds, and broad vs. narrow content
  • Maintains the conversational and somewhat informal tone of the original lectures upon which the book is based
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Table of Contents


Lecture One: The Debate over the Theory of Reference for Proper Names.

Lecture Two: Understanding, Representation, Information.

Lecture Three: Ir-content and the Set of Worlds Where a Sentence is True.

Lecture Four: Two Spaceism.

Lecture Five: The Informational Value of Names.



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Author Information

Frank Jackson is Visiting Professor in Philosophy at Princeton University and holds a fractional appointment as Distinguished Professor at The Australian National University. Jackson is a corresponding fellow of the British Academy and the author of several books and papers on a wide range of topics in analytical philosophy.
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"Saul Kripke's classic lectures, Naming and Necessity, changed the way we think about reference and intentionality, but it remains controversial just what the basic lesson of his work should be. In this book, Frank Jackson, with his characteristic clarity of mind and down-to-earth style of argument, articulates the view that Kripke's insights and arguments can be reconciled with a version of the description theory that were the focus of his attack. Jackson clarifies the terrain by putting the issue in the wider context of the role of language in the exchange of information. Much of what he says is persuasive, and all of it is challenging, stimulating and clarifying."
Robert Stalnaker, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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