Advertisement

Philosophical Studies

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

Names, identity, and predication

  • Eros CorazzaEmail author
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Frege Mill Subject/predicate Identity Copula Proper names 

Notes

Acknowledgements

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).

References

  1. Bach, K. (1987). Thought and reference. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bach, K. (2002). Giorgione was so-called because of his name. Philosophical Perspectives, 16, 73–103.Google Scholar
  3. Burge, T. (1973). Reference and proper names. Journal of Philosophy, 70(14), 425–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Castañeda, H.-N. (1989). Thinking, language, and experience. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  5. Corazza, E., & Korta, K. (2015). Frege on subject matter and identity statements. Analysis, 75(4), 562–565.Google Scholar
  6. Dummett, M. (1973/81). Frege: Philosophy of language (2nd ed.). Oxford: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  7. Dummett, M. (1981). The interpretation of Frege’s philosophy. Oxford: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  8. Frege, G. (1879). Begriffsschrift, Eine der Aritmetischen Nachgebildete Formalsphrache des Reinen Denkens. Halle: Nerbert.Google Scholar
  9. Frege, G. (1891). Function and concept. In P. Geach & M. Back (Eds.) 1952, Translations from the philosophical writings of Gottlob Frege (pp. 21–41). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  10. Frege, G. (1892). On concept and object. In P. Geach & M. Back (Eds.) 1952, Translations from the philosophical writings of gottlob frege (pp. 42–55). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  11. Frege, G. (1892a). On sense and meaning. In P. Geach & M. Black. 1952, Translations from the philosophical writings of Gottlob Frege. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  12. Geach, P. (1962). Reference and generality. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Graff, Fara D. (2015). Names are predicates. Philosophical Review, 124(1), 59–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jeshion, R. (2015). Names not predicates. In A. Bianchi (Ed.), On reference (pp. 225–250). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Korta, K. (2013). Grice’s requirement on what is said. In C. Penco & F. Domaneschi (Eds.), What is said and what is not (pp. 1–17). Palo Alto: CSLI Publications.Google Scholar
  16. Korta, K., & Perry, J. (2011). Critical pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lockwood, M. (1975). On predicating proper names. Philosophical Review, 84(4), 471–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mendelson, R. L. (1987). Frege’s two senses of ‘is’. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 28(1), 139–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mill, J. S. (1843). A system of logic (book I, ch. ii). London: Longman.Google Scholar
  20. Montague, R. (1973). The proper treatment of quantification in ordinary english. In J. Hintikka, J. Moravcsik & P. Suppes (Eds.), Approaches to natural language (pp. 221–242). Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  21. Perry, J. (1986). Cognitive significance and new theories of reference. Noûs 22(1), 1–18. Reprinted in Perry, J. (2000). The problem of the essential indexical and other essays (pp. 189–206). Palo Alto CA: CSLI Publications.Google Scholar
  22. Perry, J. (2001/12). Reference and reflexivity. Palo Alto CA: CSLI Publications.Google Scholar
  23. Russell, B. (1948). Human knowledge: its scope and limits. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  24. Sloat, C. (1969). Proper names in english. Language, 45(1), 26–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sommer, F. (1982). The logic of natural language. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations