The predicate view of names (PV) has reached a high level of sophistication, closely competing with the referentialist account that distinguishes names from predicates – the name view of names (NV).2 The two accounts split the heritage of the classical view that a name denotes what it names, i.e., that it picks out a particular by some of its features. According to NV, a name points out a particular by none of its features, but according to PV, a name predicates of a particular the specific feature of its name.3 At the same time, PV and NV join in deeming a name not to categorize the namee. Here, I shall avow my preference for NV over PV. PV is deemed more economical and simpler, as it offers a uniform treatment of names and predicates. I shall argue two points: (i) If names are predicates, they are different from any other, because, if a predicate, a name does not tell a feature of what it names, but is the feature it tells. A predicate categorizes whereas a name labels; a name is arbitrary and a predicate is not.4 The difference emerges considering name introductions and name shifts, leaving us with two kinds of nouns instead of nouns and names.5 (ii) Is PV simpler and more economical? Formally, it is, waiving one category of expressions, though in combining a predicate and a determiner or a demonstrative, it turns names into complex expressions. It leaves out the role of names that originates NVs: names fix points of reference and bring back to their reference frames; predicates characterize these points and further ones in relation to them. A motivation for PVs is that names are shared – there are indefinitely many Annas, Josephs, Muhammads, and Nimrats. In closing, however, I shall hint at a way of looking at names, which reshapes the issue of the indefinitely many particulars sharing a name and shows them to be an almost perfect flexible coding system for individuating particulars. I shall also allude to viewing non-predicating predicates as names, an issue Frege (1892b) investigates.

Name or predicate?

LEONARDI, PAOLO
2016

Abstract

The predicate view of names (PV) has reached a high level of sophistication, closely competing with the referentialist account that distinguishes names from predicates – the name view of names (NV).2 The two accounts split the heritage of the classical view that a name denotes what it names, i.e., that it picks out a particular by some of its features. According to NV, a name points out a particular by none of its features, but according to PV, a name predicates of a particular the specific feature of its name.3 At the same time, PV and NV join in deeming a name not to categorize the namee. Here, I shall avow my preference for NV over PV. PV is deemed more economical and simpler, as it offers a uniform treatment of names and predicates. I shall argue two points: (i) If names are predicates, they are different from any other, because, if a predicate, a name does not tell a feature of what it names, but is the feature it tells. A predicate categorizes whereas a name labels; a name is arbitrary and a predicate is not.4 The difference emerges considering name introductions and name shifts, leaving us with two kinds of nouns instead of nouns and names.5 (ii) Is PV simpler and more economical? Formally, it is, waiving one category of expressions, though in combining a predicate and a determiner or a demonstrative, it turns names into complex expressions. It leaves out the role of names that originates NVs: names fix points of reference and bring back to their reference frames; predicates characterize these points and further ones in relation to them. A motivation for PVs is that names are shared – there are indefinitely many Annas, Josephs, Muhammads, and Nimrats. In closing, however, I shall hint at a way of looking at names, which reshapes the issue of the indefinitely many particulars sharing a name and shows them to be an almost perfect flexible coding system for individuating particulars. I shall also allude to viewing non-predicating predicates as names, an issue Frege (1892b) investigates.
The importance of being called Ernesto/Essays for Ernesto Napoli
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Leonardi, Paolo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/554791
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