Philosophy Analysis




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1.) A parrot and a 4-year-old boy are overhearing a conversation between two philosophers. One philosopher is heard asserting that he really likes Aristotle. After a few days both the parrot and the 4-year-old start using the term “Aristotle”. The parrot seems to amuse himself uttering “Aristotle” numerous times, while the willful 4-year-old boy insists that he definitely does not like Aristotle. (Assume that it is the son of a philosopher. Also take it for granted that 4-year olds are linguistically competent, at least in a minimal sense.)

Ordinarily we are inclined to say that the parrot’s use of “Aristotle” does not refer to anything, whereas we would attribute ordinary reference to the use of the same term by the 4-year-old. (If this is not your intuition, explain why not, i.e. why does age make a difference?) Explain how Kripke and Frege would account for the case of the parrot. (Why should Kripke actually deny that the parrot’s use is not referring, since the parrot and the 4-year-old stand in the same causal relation to Aristotle?) Would they agree insofar the 4-year-old is concerned? Even though Kripke might handle the case of the 4 year-old better is his theory sufficiently precise?



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