Chapter

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

LaPorte Joseph

in Rigid Designation and Theoretical Identities

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199609208
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745027 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609208.003.0006
Rigidity – Associated Arguments in Support of Theoretical Identity Statements: on their Significance and the Cost of their Philosophical Resources

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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

Chapter.  12923 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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