Denoting Objects

Terence Parsons

in Indeterminate Identity

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250449
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681301 | DOI:
Denoting Objects

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This chapter addresses the question of how one may refer determinately to objects that are indeterminately identical to other objects. Some authors have suggested that if it is indeterminate whether a = b, then it is not possible to determinately denote a. As a consequence, all identity sentences that lack truth-value suffer from some semantic defect. When it is indeterminate whether a = b, the discussion shows how to have singular terms that determinately denote a without denoting b at all, and terms that determinately denote a while also indeterminately denoting b; as well as terms that indeterminately denote each.

Keywords: names; definite descriptions; denotation; indeterminate identity

Chapter.  3057 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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