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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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Rigidity – Associated Arguments in Support of Theoretical Identity Statements: on their Significance and the Cost of their Philosophical Resources

Rigidity – Associated Arguments in Support of Theoretical Identity Statements: on their Significance and the Cost of their Philosophical Resources

Chapter:
(p.124) 6 Rigidity – Associated Arguments in Support of Theoretical Identity Statements: on their Significance and the Cost of their Philosophical Resources
Source:
Rigid Designation and Theoretical Identities
Author(s):

LaPorte Joseph

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609208.003.0006

This chapter argues that arguments making use of rigidity to support theoretical identity statements like ‘water = H2O’ are significant if convincing and that they are convincing. The arguments enjoy considerable interest for little cost. Specific objections that the chapter addresses are that theoretical identity statements like ‘water = H2O’ are uninformative because of the rigidity of the designators, that support for theoretical identity statements really appeals to deeper mechanisms than rigidity (especially Millianism), that the designators in theoretical identity statements are not really rigid (de facto or de jure), and that rigidity-based arguments supporting theoretical identity statements rely on controversial essentialist intuitions (a tradition inspired by Nathan Salmon, although his actual position is plausible and not so potent as the position of the tradition stemming from him, which I address).

Keywords:   Salmon, theoretical identity statements, Millianism, de facto, de jure

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