Essentialism and the Senses of Proper Names

American Philosophical Quarterly 7 (4):321 - 330 (1970)
Some philosophers believe that the doctrine that individuals have (nominal) essences is supported by arguments designed to show that proper names have senses. Three such arguments are extracted from recent pieces of philosophy: one from the absurdity of bare particulars, A second from the necessary conditions for identifying bearers of proper names, And a third from the ability to replace proper names in discourse with the help of sortal terms. All three arguments are rejected upon examination. The bearing this rejection has for our conception of how we identify particulars through time is briefly discussed. Finally, An attempt to revive this sort of essentialism vis-A-Vis semantic categories is criticized
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