The Sense of Names

Colin McGinn

in Truth by Analysis

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199856145
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919567 | DOI:
The Sense of Names

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This chapter analyzes the philosophy of proper names, arguing that names offer one of the strongest challenges against the position taken in this book, both in themselves and in the general moral that they seem to imply. It concludes that naming and essence go hand in hand: naming requires descriptions, but the descriptions have to be rigid, so they must express essences—thus there are no names of objects without essences of objects. If you lack essence, you must remain nameless. In general, language can be about reality only because reality has what-it-is-to-be. Language expresses essence.

Keywords: proper names; philosophy; language; essence; naming

Chapter.  11144 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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