Philosophical Studies

, Volume 175, Issue 10, pp 2631–2647 | Cite as

Names, identity, and predication

  • Eros CorazzaEmail author


It is commonly accepted, after Frege, that identity statements like “Tully is Cicero” differ from statements like “Tully is Tully”. For the former, unlike the latter, are informative. One way to deal with the information problem is to postulate that the terms ‘Tully’ and ‘Cicero’ come equipped with different informative (or cognitive) values. Another approach is to claim that statements like these are of the subject/predicate form. As such, they should be analyzed along the way we treat “Tully walks”. Since proper names can appear in predicative position we could go as far as to dismiss the sign of identity altogether, some told us. I will try to discuss the advantages and/or disadvantages of this approach and investigate whether Frege’s view that the ‘is’ of identity must be distinguished from the ‘is’ of predication (copula) can be reconciled with the fact that names can appear in predicative position.


Frege Mill Subject/predicate Identity Copula Proper names 



For comments on a previous version of this paper I would like to thank Christopher Genovesi, David Matheson, Ernesto Perini, John Perry, María de Ponte, Stefano Predelli, Marco Ruffino, Ludovic Soutif, as well as the audience of the IV Conference of the Brazilian Society for Analytic Philosophy at the University of Campinas (July 5–July 8, 2016) where a draft of the paper has been presented. Many thanks also to an anonymous referee form this journal for their valuable comments and suggestions. Research for this paper has been partly supported by a grant from the Spanish Minister: FFI2015-63719-P (MINECO/FEDER) and the Basque Government (IT1032-16).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ILCLI, The University of the Basque Country UPV-EHUDonostiaSpain
  2. 2.IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for ScienceBilbaoSpain
  3. 3.Philosophy and Cognitive SciencesCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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