David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 125 (2):139--165 (2005)
Kripke defines a rigid designator as one that designates the same object in every possible world in which that object exists. He argues that proper names are rigid. So also, he claims, are various natural kind terms. But we wonder how they could be. These terms are general and it is not obvious that they designate at all. It has been proposed that these kind terms rigidly designate abstract objects. This proposal has been criticized because all terms then seem to come out rigid, thus trivializing rigidity. The paper starts with further criticisms of this proposal aimed particularly at a recent version given by LaPorte. The paper goes on to develop and defend an alternative proposal presented briefly in Devitt and Sterelny (1999): instead of taking those natural kind terms to rigidly designate an object we take them to rigidly apply to the members of their extensions. Schwartz has rightly insisted that a notion of rigidity must do some theoretical work if it is to be interesting. The paper argues that rigid application for kind terms does the same primary work as rigid designation for singular terms, the work of refuting description theories of some terms; and it does the same secondary work, of explaining certain modal phenomena (with one exception).
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy Epistemology Logic Philosophy of Mind Philosophy of Religion|
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References found in this work BETA
Hilary Putnam (1975). Mind, Language, and Reality. Cambridge University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
Michael Devitt (2011). Experimental Semantics. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):418 - 435.
Michael Devitt (2008). Resurrecting Biological Essentialism. Philosophy of Science 75 (3):344-382.
Corine Besson (2012). Empty Natural Kind Terms and Dry-Earth. Erkenntnis 76 (3):403-425.
Jussi Haukioja (2015). On Deriving Essentialism From the Theory of Reference. Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2141-2151.
Michael Devitt (2010). Species Have (Partly) Intrinsic Essences. Philosophy of Science 77 (5):648-661.
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