Rigidity and Identity

Wayne A. Davis

in Nondescriptive Meaning and Reference

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780199261659
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603099 | DOI:
Rigidity and Identity

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This chapter shows that the principle of the necessity of identity, which precludes proper treatment of names in standard possible worlds semantics, fails for logical and epistemic necessity. Model structures allow contingent identities as long as the co-representation relation is non-transitive. It is shown that there is no sound argument from the rigidity of names to the necessity of identity, and that other well known arguments for this principle are either invalid or question begging. The rigidity of names extends to worlds that are mere logical or epistemological possibilities, and is intensional.

Keywords: necessity of identity; contingent identity; self-identity; logical necessity; epistemic necessity; metaphysical necessity; de jure rigidity; de facto rigidity; intensionality; intensions

Chapter.  11870 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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