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Single Idea 21615

[catalogued under 19. Language / B. Reference / 1. Reference theories]

Full Idea

The predicate 'is a prime number greater than all other prime numbers' is necessarily not true of anything, but it is not semantically defective, for it occurs in sentences that constitute a sound proof that there is no such number.

Gist of Idea

References to the 'greatest prime number' have no reference, but are meaningful


Timothy Williamson (Vagueness [1994], 6.2)

A Reaction

One might reply that the description can be legitimately mentioned, but not legitimately used.

Book Reference

Williamson,Timothy: 'Vagueness' [Routledge 1996], p.168