P. F. Strawson on Predication

Polish Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):39-57 (2011)

Strawson offers three accounts of singular predication: a grammatical, a category and a mediating account. I argue that the grammatical and mediating accounts are refuted by a host of counter-examples and that the latter is worse than useless. In later works Strawson defends only the category account. This account entails that singular terms cannot be predicates; it excludes non-denoting singular terms from being logical subjects, except by means of an ad hoc analogy; it depends upon a notion of identification that is too vague; and it is unnecessarily complicated, relying on analogies where a more uniform explanation should be possible. But I show how the account can be corrected to avoid all these difficulties and to provide an accurate account of singular predication.
Keywords Connotation  denotation  predicate  predication  singular term  Strawson  subject  Mill  properties
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ISBN(s) 1897-1652
DOI 10.5840/pjphil2011512
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