At the bottom of p. 90, Kripke turns to his positive account of how the reference of a name is fixed. The view he describes is an antecedent of, or perhaps a version of, the so-called "Causal Theory of Reference", though I'll register some caveats about that attribution below.
Kripke divides the question how a name refers to its bearer into two parts.
- First, there is an initial "baptism" or "dubbing", during which the reference of the name is originally fixed. Thus, the name "Richard Feynmann" originally referred to Richard Feynmann because it was bestowed upon him by his parents.
- Second, as the name is used in communciation, it is "passed from link to link", and the name "Richard Feynmann" refers to Richard Feynmann for those of us who were not present at the initial dubbing because of the complex chain connecting us to the original use.
Kripke offers this only as a "rough statement of a theory", and he is particularly cagey about the second condition, which needs careful statement.
Kripke mentions a number of problems that affect the second condition, the key examples being Napoleon the pig and the neighbor George Smith. Explain how these examples motivate the suggestion that, when one picks up a name from someone else, one will inherit the reference of that name only if one intends to use the name with the same reference as the original speaker. How well does this condition deal with the original problem?
Kripke remarks at one point that "A certain passage of communication reaching ultimately to [Feynmann] himself does reach the speaker" (p. 91). This suggests that, for Kripke, reference is sustained by a causal relationship between a speaker and the object of reference. In fact, however, this is misleading. Kripke allows that the reference of the name may originally be fixed by description, and he again gives the example of "Neptune" (p. 96, fn 42). The causal connection, then, is supposed to be not between the speaker and the object but between a speaker not present at the baptism and those who were.
As Kripke notes (p. 92), the theory he proposes is somewhat similar to one suggested by Strawson. The difference is supposed to be that, on Strawson's account, you have to remember from whom you learned the name, so that "Gödel" might mean: the man Jones calls "Gödel". On Kripke's account, by contrast, you don't need to know from whom you learned the name. How significant a difference is this?
In fact, Kripke emphasizes that he is not giving an "analysis" or a "reductive account" of reference. This is in part because the second condition itself involves the notion of an intention to preserve reference. But, at a deeper level, it seems to me, it is because Kripke does not really offer any account of what it is for the name to refer to the object at the initial stage. I.e., he offers no account of how "dubbing" works.
On p. 97, Kripke begins a discussion of the modal status of identity statements, such as "Hesperus is Phosphorous". Kripke of course agrees that if the statements involve descriptions, then they can be contingent. If an identity statement involves names, however, then, Kripke argues, it is necessarily true if true at all: There is no possible world in which Hesperus is not Phosphorous. So Kripke endorses the "necessity of identity".
Marcus had claimed before Kripke that true identities are necessary, but she had also claimed that, as Kripke puts it, "...if you really have names, a good dictionary should be able to tell you whether they have the same reference (p. 101), so that it cannot have been an empirical discovery that Hesperus is Phosphorous. Why isn't Kripke committed to the same combination of views?
It's very important to see exactly what Kripke is and is not claiming here. He is not claiming that we could not find out that, shocking as it may seem, Hesperus is not Phosphorous after all. Nor is he claiming that there is not a possible situation in which "Hesperus" and "Phosphorous" are used much like we use them, but in which these names refer to different objects; so that, in that situation, the sentence "Hesperus is Phosphorous" would be false. What Kripke is claiming, rather, is that there is no possible situation that we could correctly describe as one in which Hesperus is not Phosphorous. This is because names are rigid designators: "Hesperus" always refers to Hesperus (i.e., Venus) when we use it, and "Phosphorous" always refers to Phosphorous (i.e., Venus). So it is not possible to use these names to describe a situation in which Hesperus would not be Phosphorouss. To do so would be to describe a situation in which Venus was not Venus.
Kripke also endorses the "necessity of diversity": the claim that every false identity statement is necessarily false. What kind of argument might one give for this claim? How does it compare to Kripke's argument for the necessity of identity?
Here's a case to think about. Mario and Aldo Andretti (the race car drivers) are identical twins. Presumably it is possible that the zygote from which they both developed should not have twinned and so should have produced only one child. Consider, then, such a situation, and call the single child born in that situation "Ennio". Could one correctly describe this situation as one in which both Mario and Aldo were Ennio and so were the same person?