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Single Idea 13865

[catalogued under 18. Thought / D. Concepts / 1. Concepts / a. Nature of concepts]

Full Idea

A concept is 'sortal' if it exemplifies a kind of object. ..In English predication of a sortal concept needs an indefinite article ('an' elm). ..What really constitutes the distinction is that it involves grasping identity for things which fall under it.

Gist of Idea

'Sortal' concepts show kinds, use indefinite articles, and require grasping identities


Crispin Wright (Frege's Concept of Numbers as Objects [1983], 1.i)

Book Reference

Wright,Crispin: 'Frege's Conception of Numbers' [Scots Philosophical Monographs 1983], p.2

A Reaction

This is a key notion, which underlies the claims of 'sortal essentialism' (see David Wiggins).

Related Ideas

Idea 11896 A sortal essence is a thing's principle of individuation [Wiggins, by Mackie,P]

Idea 13866 A concept is only a sortal if it gives genuine identity [Wright,C]