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Análisis filosófico

versión On-line ISSN 1851-9636


ORLANDO, Eleonora. General term rigidity as identity of designation: Some comments on Devitt's criticisms. Anal. filos. [online]. 2009, vol.29, n.2, pp.201-218. ISSN 1851-9636.

In his paper "Rigid Application", Michael Devitt defends a particular version of the socalled 'essentialist conception' of rigidity for general terms, according to which rigid general terms are rigid appliers, namely, terms that if they apply to an object in any possible world then they apply to that object in every possible in which the object exists. Devitt thinks that the thereby defined notion of rigidity makes for an adequate extension to general terms of Kripke's notion, originally defined for singular ones, inasmuch as it serves to accomplish its same primary task: namely, "to distinguish terms that are not covered by a description theory from ones that are". He then criticizes the alternative conception of rigidity for general terms as identity of designation -specifically, LaPorte´s (2000) version- on the basis of its entanglement with some controversial metaphysical theses regarding the existence of universals -including a commitment to a selective realism concerning them. In this paper, I try to defend the identity of designation conception from his criticisms: with this aim, I propose a version different from LaPorte's, and claim it to be the best one to accomplish the above-mentioned primary semantic task, namely, the one of showing that some general terms, just like most ordinary names, cannot be accounted for in descriptive terms.

Palabras clave : General term; Rigidity; Designation; Non-descriptiveness.

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