more from Saul A. Kripke

Single Idea 7761

[catalogued under 10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / b. Rigid designation]

Full Idea

Kripke offers an intuitive test for telling whether a term is rigid: try the term in the sentence-frame "N might not have been N". (For example, try the terms 'Nixon' and 'President of the USA').

Gist of Idea

Test for rigidity by inserting into the sentence 'N might not have been N'


report of Saul A. Kripke (Naming and Necessity lectures [1970]) by William Lycan - Philosophy of Language Ch.4

Book Reference

Lycan,William G.: 'Philosophy of Language' [Routledge 2000], p.54

A Reaction

Helpful, but if you try it, the results do not seem to be conclusive. You are left saying 'Well, it depends what you mean by...' Think of possible worlds with a crippled Nixon, twin Nixons, an honest Nixon, a robot Nixon, a dark skinned Nixon...