On the Coherence of the Distinction

LaPorte Joseph

in Rigid Designation and Theoretical Identities

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199609208
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745027 | DOI:
On the Coherence of the Distinction

Show Summary Details


In this chapter, the coherence of the key rigid — nonrigid distinction as a distinction is maintained. Two objections are addressed. The first (sometimes called “overgeneralization”) is that the distinction allows even artificial-property designators like ‘bachelor’ to count as rigid, and not only designators like ‘white’ for natural properties or natural kinds, so there are no nonrigid designators, so there is no distinction. The second objection, the objection from shadowing (sometimes called “trivialization”), argues that for each allegedly nonrigid designator like ‘the color of Antarctica’ there is a candidate for rigid designation shadowing the candidate for nonrigid designation: in this case, the property of being Antarctica colored does the shadowing. So again, if the objection stands there is no genuine distinction between designators that are supposed to be rigid and those that are not. The authenticity of a distinction is maintained against these objections.

Keywords: artificial-property designators; natural kinds; shadowing; rigid – nonrigid distinction; trivialization; overgeneralization

Chapter.  11015 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.