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Rigid Designation and Theoretical Identities$
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Joseph LaPorte

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199609208

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609208.001.0001

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On the Coherence of the Distinction

On the Coherence of the Distinction

(p.22) 2 On the Coherence of the Distinction
Rigid Designation and Theoretical Identities

LaPorte Joseph

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the coherence of the key rigid — nonrigid distinction as a distinction is maintained. Two objections are addressed. The first (sometimes called “overgeneralization”) is that the distinction allows even artificial-property designators like ‘bachelor’ to count as rigid, and not only designators like ‘white’ for natural properties or natural kinds, so there are no nonrigid designators, so there is no distinction. The second objection, the objection from shadowing (sometimes called “trivialization”), argues that for each allegedly nonrigid designator like ‘the color of Antarctica’ there is a candidate for rigid designation shadowing the candidate for nonrigid designation: in this case, the property of being Antarctica colored does the shadowing. So again, if the objection stands there is no genuine distinction between designators that are supposed to be rigid and those that are not. The authenticity of a distinction is maintained against these objections.

Keywords:   artificial-property designators, natural kinds, shadowing, rigid – nonrigid distinction, trivialization, overgeneralization

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