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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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Rigid Appliers

Rigid Appliers

(p.89) 5 Rigid Appliers
Rigid Designation and Theoretical Identities

LaPorte Joseph

Oxford University Press

The position that nonsingular, merely predicative designators (not serving as higher-order singular terms à la Bernard Linsky and Salmon nor as first-order singular terms à la Mill or Bealer: see chapter 4) are not subject to a rigid — nonrigid distinction, has perhaps been associated most closely with Scott Soames; but it is the orthodoxy. If the orthodoxy were correct, then the rigid — nonrigid distinction would fail to apply to general terms in the event that these were nonsingular, as nominalists hold and as a tradition associated with Frege holds. Against the orthodoxy, this chapter articulates a rigid — nonrigid distinction for purely predicative designators, which is accordingly not committed against nominalism or Fregeanism. The distinction upholds the roles associated with rigidity and nonrigidity in familiar arguments associated with rigidity. By contrast essential application, pace Devitt and Gómez-Torrente, is not a successful account of rigidity for mere appliers nor an apt substitute.

Keywords:   Soames, Devitt, Gómez-Torrente, Frege, nominalism, mere appliers, nonsingular, essential application, general term, predicate

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