more from Saul A. Kripke

Single Idea 9175

[catalogued under 5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / b. Names as descriptive]

Full Idea

We may fix the reference of 'Cicero' by use of some descriptive phrase, such as 'author of these works'. But once we have this reference fixed, we then use the name 'Cicero' rigidly to designate the man who in fact we have identified by his authorship.

Gist of Idea

We may fix the reference of 'Cicero' by a description, but thereafter the name is rigid


Saul A. Kripke (Identity and Necessity [1971], p.183)

Book Reference

'Meaning and Reference', ed/tr. Moore,A.W. [OUP 1993], p.183

A Reaction

Even supposedly rigid names can shift reference, as Evans's example of 'Madagascar' shows (Idea 9041). Reference is a much more social activity than Kripke is willing to admit. There is a 'tradition' of reference (Dummett) for the name 'Cicero'.

Related Idea

Idea 9041 The Causal Theory of Names is wrong, since the name 'Madagascar' actually changed denotation [Evans]