more from Saul A. Kripke

Single Idea 4956

[catalogued under 19. Language / B. Reference / 3. Direct Reference / c. Social reference]

Full Idea

In some cases an object may be identified, and the reference of a name fixed, using a description which may turn out to be false of its object.

Gist of Idea

A description may fix a reference even when it is not true of its object


Saul A. Kripke (Naming and Necessity notes and addenda [1972], note 34)

Book Reference

Kripke,Saul: 'Naming and Necessity' [Blackwell 1980], p.80

A Reaction

This is clearly possible. Someone could be identified as 'the criminal' when they were actually innocent. Nevertheless, how do you remember which person was baptised 'Aristotle' if you don't hang on to a description, even a false one?