Title

Names and obstinate rigidity

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2013

Abstract

Names are rigid designators, but what kind of rigidity do they exhibit? Both "obstinately" and "persistently" rigid designators pick out O at every world at which they pick out anything at all. They differ in that obstinately rigid designators also pick out O at worlds at which O fails to exist; persistently rigid designators have no extension whatsoever at worlds at which O fails to exist. The question whether names are obstinate or persistent arises in two contexts: in arguments against rigidified descriptivism (on the grounds that names and rigidified descriptions exhibit different kinds of rigidity) and in considerations about what it means for an expression to be "directly referential." This paper contends that names are persistent, not obstinate. The position thus clarifies the relationship between Millian theories of names and rigid designation, in addition to undermining attempts to rehabilitate the modal argument against rigidified descriptivism. © 2013 The University of Memphis.

Publication Name

Southern Journal of Philosophy

Volume Number

51

First Page

224

Last Page

242

Issue Number

2

DOI

10.1111/sjp.12014

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