• schopenhauer1
    2.6k
    His table, for example, could only have been made from that certain piece of wood, and if it had been made from some other piece of wood, it would be a different table.Banno

    That seems pretty good evidence to me of some sort of substance based metaphysics. We can call it whatever you want or feel comfortable with if you like. If you have a term for it, please let me know.

    While his account for him is metaphysical, I'm reading him as providing rules for modal discourse - a grammar, in the broader sense.

    So I guess you might read him as saying that the substance an individual is made of is essential to that individual.
    Banno

    I'm just trying to follow you when you are talking about his more controversial parts- the necessary a posteriori. This is where I thought you were going with it, some more "substantive" metaphysical claims (that to me are more interesting than simply his use of grammar). Maybe that's my "non-analytical" bent as you might claim. As far as the modal discourse, I think it is cool that he uses possible worlds to evaluate an individual/kinds reference, but I think it was more aimed at theories of description that came from other analytic philosophers of his time and earlier, and is more interesting if one was involved in those debates.

    I would think of that as too broad, though. For example a waterfall is an individual that does not always consist of the same substance.Banno

    Someone might say that a waterfall would simply be an abstraction. The water and the cliff it is flowing over are the "substance", their pairing would then be a secondary pairing of the two in a location in order to play more precise language games for ease of communication. In all possible worlds, only water being H20 and the cliff being (X,Y, Z substance) would matter. This is pretty radical in terms of how we identify things in everyday speech, but I guess if we are talking metaphysics, things can be different than how we are used in our ordinary understanding. That might be an interesting implication from Kripke though. Hidden how we name individuals and kinds is an underlying metaphysics that is not as ordinary as we think. However, none of this might matter to his theory, if his theory of naming only applies to proper names, and not necessarily generic, non-living individual objects in nature. I am not sure if that is the case though. He does talk about H20 so I am guessing non-living generic objects of nature can be considered, not just kinds. Again, I don't know. That specific water versus another specific body of water is an interesting concept to throw in all of this.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    One of the costs involved is that individuals are more fixed than was thought, across our modal musings. Specifically, a proper name fixes one individual across all accessible possible worlds in which that individual exists. An implication of this is that, since a definite description that fixes an individual in the actual world might turn out to be false, or be stipulated to be false, then the theory that the meaning of a name is given by an associated description is bunk.Banno

    Something that I don't think is often addressed in this stuff in this: just what, exactly, does Kripke take himself to be doing? Is he supposed to be describing how people actually use language? If not, what is he doing? Is he offering a proposal for a recommended way to use language?
  • schopenhauer1
    2.6k
    As far as I know, he is correcting the idea that proper names and kinds are just placeholders for descriptions using modal logic. Thus using modal logic, in all possible worlds that is, all descriptions of a person can be different, but there is still something that makes that individual stick to that proper name- what he calls a "rigid designator". How does this rigid designator come about? Through a causal chain of events where he was at one point "dubbed" by someone (like a parent) that name and from there, all references are fixed so that person is always designated. @Banno can correct my very brief synopsis if he will.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    As far as I know, he is correcting the idea that proper names and kinds are just placeholders for descriptions using modal logic.schopenhauer1

    Correcting it per what, though? In other words, what's the truthmaker for it?
  • schopenhauer1
    2.6k
    I don't know what you mean, but he is countering arguments made earlier by philosophers like Russell who argue for a descriptivist theory of names.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k


    If it's true that names are such and such in modal logic, then it's true by virtue of something, right? Not just by one guy's stipulation presumably.
  • schopenhauer1
    2.6k
    Again, I don't know what you mean. I guess he is using modal logic as his proof of this. That is part of his innovation I think.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k


    Person one:
    Names in modal logic are just descriptions.

    Person two:
    Names in modal logic are not descriptions.

    What do we look at to adjudicate who is correct between those two people?

    (Does it still not make sense to you what I'm asking about?)
  • schopenhauer1
    2.6k
    I don't think proper names can be descriptions in modal logic. As far as the other thing there, you are trying to understand a theory of truth between claims.. I would imagine using modal logic is like the definition of deductive reasoning, but perhaps not. So he is saying.."You say this using this logic".. but you didn't consider this kind of logic which would defeat that claim". Beyond this, I don't know how else to answer your question.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    I would imagine using modal logic is like the definition of deductive reasoning,schopenhauer1

    But we can ask the same thing about definitions. What are we trying to do when we forward them? Are we describing how people use a term? Prescribing a usage? Or what?

    Another way to ask what I'm asking is this. If we make a statement about something, are we making an observation? (And if so, an observation where we're looking at what?) Are we creating something? For what purpose? Or are we doing something else?
  • Banno
    4.8k
    Is he offering a proposal for a recommended way to use language?Terrapin Station

    He seems to think he is solving metaphysical issues. I take him as recommending a way to use language.
  • Banno
    4.8k
    Not just by one guy's stipulation presumably.Terrapin Station

    Actually...
  • Banno
    4.8k
    Might help if you read the first lecture.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k


    I've actually read it a couple times, including in school. I don't recall him really addressing what he takes himself to be doing on a meta level. If he's just recommending a way to use language, okay, but that would need more of a campaign behind it to really be effective.
  • Janus
    6.7k
    I don't think proper names can be descriptions in modal logic.schopenhauer1

    I am yet to see anyone provide a cogent logical distinction between 'X' and 'the entity referred to as 'X'' in everyday use. For modal logic you would need to extend the description to 'the entity referred to as 'X' in this world' to make it refer rigidly across possible worlds. Both versions of the latter are descriptions as far as I can tell.
  • Janus
    6.7k


    He'll tell you to read it again, probably. Apparently you can't read it and understand it, without agreeing with it, even though no reasons for believing that contention can be given. :rofl:
  • Wallows
    7.1k
    I am yet to see anyone provide a cogent logical distinction between 'X' and 'the entity referred to as 'X'' in everyday use.Janus

    For ostensive terms, this issue disappears if you assume something lacking in Kipke's Naming and Necessity. Namely, a form of counterfactual definitiveness across all possible worlds, guaranteeing an accessibility relation between them to stipulate that the same entity in our world, called "water", is, in fact, H20 in all possible worlds.

    But, this fails when trying to denote entities that have no referent, like empty names, fictional entities, and such.
  • Janus
    6.7k


    Wallows, what you want to say here is not clear, could you explain further. Specifically I don't know what you mean by "if you something assume something lacking in Kripke's Naming and Necessity", or " a form of counterfactual definitiveness across all possible worlds". And I'm not sure what you are saying "fails when trying to denote entities that have no referent, like empty names, fictional entities and such", and of course once I know what fails I'd like to know why you think it fails.
  • Wallows
    7.1k


    Maybe I should rephrase the issue, as I am working on how to conceptualize possible worlds that are defined through counterfactuals that only exist in our world and who's laws of science/math/physics are identical to our own, so we have some way to establish an accessibility relation to our own, as in the example of water being H2O that is necessarily true in all possible worlds where that accessibility relation holds true.

    Or in other words, in Frege's Sense and Reference, Kripe successfully addresses the issue of "reference"; but, what I think has been going on in the other thread is conflating a name's sense with its reference.

    Does that make better sense? I'm still working on the idea; but, I think we both know why Kripke tells us on the first page that he won't be addressing the issue of empty names or fictional entities in his Naming and Necessity. In my opinion, this is because you have no referent for empty names or fictional entities and thus you can't separate the sense (or the sum total of descriptive content for an empty name) from a non-existent referent.

    Or to sound nonsensical, the description of the empty name stands in for the designation of the term, much how like the "It" in the sentence of "It is raining", is a dummy subject/indexical and not a real one.
  • Janus
    6.7k
    but, what I think has been going on in the other thread is conflating a name's sense with its reference.Wallows

    Can you explain how you see that conflation; perhaps give an example to make it clearer?

    thus you can't separate the sense (or the sum total of descriptive content for an empty name) from a non-existent referent.Wallows

    I'm not sure what you mean by "empty name". For me an empty name is simply a name on its own, for example, 'Peter', and I don't think names, as such, have senses or "sum totals of descriptive content". I'm not sure that names that refer have any necessary descriptive content, 'within' the name. Although I do think a name (even one that does not specifically refer) can rightly be said to have logically associated, or better equivalent, descriptive content: so, as I have said, the name 'X' is logically equivalent to 'the entity called 'X'".

    Or to sound nonsensical, the description of the empty name stands in for the designation of the term, much how like the "It" in the sentence of "It is raining", is a dummy subject/indexical and not a real one.Wallows

    For me the 'it' in 'it is raining' (which I think is really equivalent to 'it is rain') refers to the process of raining or the state of rain. So I don't see it as a "dummy subject/ indexical" any more that the 'it' in 'it is a tree' is. To be sure, the process of raining or the state of rain does not seem to be as determinate as a tree; the state of tree or the process of treeing. If we free up our thinking we can easily see noun-subjects as verb-subjects; and this is the beauty of process approaches.
  • Banno
    4.8k
    Chess is an interesting example. Its antiquity means we don't know if it was a one-off, as you suppose, or if it grew in the playing, as Tolkien might say.

    I rather like the idea that it grew in the playing. That's what it's history suggests. Ill come back to this.
  • Wallows
    7.1k
    @Banno, what do you think about what I have stated? It seems to me that Kripke shouldn't have neglected the issue of empty names in Naming and Necessity.
  • Banno
    4.8k
    This thread was explicitly set up to address issues in the third lecture. Quite specifically it was set up so that we could move on from @Janus view, which has been addressed multiple times and at length

    Note also @Janus’ refusal to look at the text on which this thread is based.

    Janus, et al, would you mind staying on another thread?
  • Janus
    6.7k


    Would you mind pulling your head in? It is not for you to dictate where and what comments I can make in a free public forum, provided they are not obscene, gratuitously derogatory, sexist, racist, flaming or trolling. My first comment here was perfectly relevant to the comment made by @schopenhauer1. You are free to ignore any and all of my comments, Banno; but I am not responsible to your ego; to your apparent desire to control proceedings.
  • Banno
    4.8k
    Might leave this for the moderators then.
  • Janus
    6.7k


    That's fine; I am confident that if they are fair and unbiased I will be allowed to continue to comment in this thread. If I am not, then I will no longer participate in this site at all, because I would then be forced to the conclusion that the moderators are not unbiased.

    I can agree to my second comment being removed if needs be.
  • Wallows
    7.1k
    Kripke states the following on the very first page of Lecture I.

    Some topics essential to a full presentation of the viewpoint argued here, especially that of existence statements and empty names, had to be omitted altogether. — Kripke, Naming and Necessity, Lecture I, footnote 1

    He clearly states that they are essential to [the] full presentation of the viewpoint argued here, especially that of existence statements and empty names, had to be omitted altogether.

    We can omit existence statements, as that seems to delve into phenomenology or whatnot. But, empty names, we should at least mention here. Where does Kripke elaborate on the existence of empty names? This should also resolve the dispute between @Janus and @Banno.
  • Janus
    6.7k
    This should also resolve the dispute between Janus and @Banno.Wallows

    I am not sure what you are thinking here, Wallows, but I would certainly like to see a coherent and consistent resolution to that!
  • Wallows
    7.1k
    I am not sure what you are thinking here, Wallows, but I would certainly like to see a coherent and consistent resolution to that!Janus

    I believe that fundamentally the difference between you and Banno in regards to what Kripke says in N&N, is that of semantic value for names or how names attain them in the actual world and/or in possible worlds. Is this correct?
  • Janus
    6.7k


    If by that you mean that I think names are logically equivalent to the minimalist description 'the entity such and such' then yes, I do think that is correct. I also think that names rely on descriptions (outside of ostensive contexts, which is most of the time) to fix their referents. It may come down to two different ways of looking at names, but the point for me is that argument is needed to establish which is the more comprehensive and useful way of looking at them. Obviously, I think some kind of descriptivist model (if not the so-called 'classical') is best suited to understanding how names are mostly used.
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