more from Michael Jubien

Single Idea 13398

[catalogued under 5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 2. Descriptions / b. Definite descriptions]

Full Idea

'The winner of the Derby' satisfies some horse, but only accidentally. But we could 'rigidify' the description by inserting 'actual' into it, giving 'the actual winner of the Derby'. Winning is a contingent property, but actually winning is necessary.

Gist of Idea

We could make a contingent description into a rigid and necessary one by adding 'actual' to it


Michael Jubien (Possibility [2009], 5.1)

Book Reference

Jubien,Michael: 'Possibility' [OUP 2009], p.124

A Reaction

I like this unusual proposal because instead of switching into formal logic in order to capture the ideas we are after, he is drawing on the resources of ordinary language, offering philosophers a way of speaking plain English more precisely.