Joseph LaPorte in an article on `Kind and Rigidity'(Philosophical Studies, Volume 97) resurrects an oldsolution to the problem of how to understand the rigidityof kind terms and other general terms. Despite LaPorte'sarguments to the contrary, his solution trivializes thenotion of rigidity when applied to general terms. Hisarguments do lead to an important insight however. Thenotions of rigidity and non-rigidity do not usefullyapply at all to kind or other general terms. Extendingthe notion of rigidity from singular terms such as propernames to (...) general terms such as natural kind terms is amistake. (shrink)
_A Brief History of Analytic Philosophy: From Russell to Rawls_ presents a comprehensive overview of the historical development of all major aspects of analytic philosophy, the dominant Anglo-American philosophical tradition in the twentieth century. Features coverage of all the major subject areas and figures in analytic philosophy - including Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell, G.E. Moore, Gottlob Frege, Carnap, Quine, Davidson, Kripke, Putnam, and many others Contains explanatory background material to help make clear technical philosophical concepts Includes listings of suggested further readings (...) Written in a clear, direct style that presupposes little previous knowledge of philosophy. (shrink)
Rigid expressionism is the view that all natural kind terms and many other kind terms are rigid designators. Rigid expressionists embrace the ‘overgeneralization’ of rigidity, since they hold that not just natural kind terms but all unstructured kind terms are rigid designators. Unfortunately overgeneralization remains a defeating problem for rigid expressionism. It runs together natural kind terms and nominal kind terms in a way that enforces a false semantic uniformity. The Kripke/putnam view of natural kind terms minus the claim of (...) rigidity is correct, but a traditional descriptivist theory is appropriate for nominal kind terms. None of them should be thought of as either rigid or non-rigid, however. (shrink)
Saul Kripke in his revolutionary and influential series of lectures from the early 1970s (later published as the book Naming and Necessity) famously resurrected John Stuart Mill's theory of proper names. Kripke at the same time rejected Mill's theory of general terms. According to Kripke, many natural kind terms do not fit Mill's account of general terms and are closer to proper names. Unfortunately, Kripke and his followers ignored key passages in Mill's A System of Logic in which Mill enunciates (...) a sophisticated and detailed theory of natural kind terms that anticipates and is in some ways superior to Kripke's. (shrink)
Despite its appeal and popularity, the view that membership in a natural kind is essential to an individual is unsupported by the logic of essences and has no compelling reflective support. While the view has strong intuitive and empirical support this is insufficient to establish it. There are advantages to abandoning the view that kind membership is essential to individuals. One of these advantages is that it allows for a reconfiguring of the problem of material constitution in a way that (...) removes much of the paradox. (shrink)
Linda burns in her article 'vagueness and coherence' ("synthese" 68) claims to solve the sorites paradox. Her strategy consists in part in arguing that vague terms involve loose rather than strict tolerance principles. Only strict principles give rise to the sorites paradox. I argue that vague terms do indeed involve paradox-Generating strict tolerance principles, Although different ones from those burns considers. The sorites paradox remains unsolved.
Putnam's intuitionist proposal for a logic of vague terms is defended. It is argued that both classical logic and the degrees of truth approach are committed to treating vague terms as having hidden precise borderlines. This is a crucial failing in a logic of vagueness. Intuitionism, because of the nature of intuitionist negation, avoids this failing.
Beyond Formalism is Jay Rosenberg’s attempt to articulate his dissatisfactions with the Kripkean “revolution” in the philosophy of language and to propose an alternative to it. According to Rosenberg, even though a “surprisingly large number of philosophers simply adopted the Kripkean ideas, images, and idioms root and branch”, he has been “inarticulately irritated by Kripke’s views for almost twenty years”. Rosenberg claims that Kripke’s semantics for proper names and natural kind terms is a misguided attempt to apply results in formal (...) logic, in particular the semantics of modal logic, to natural language. In order to get “beyond formalism,” Rosenberg offers his own theory of nominal reference that is “for human beings.” Rosenberg’s “human” theory should be able to take account of the functioning of referring expressions in “contexts of individual understanding and interpersonal communication” —something Kripke’s theory cannot do, according to Rosenberg. Rosenberg’s book divides into criticism of Kripke’s ideas on naming and necessity, on the one hand, and adumbration of Rosenberg’s own theory for “human beings” on the other, supplemented by discussions of such topics as Kripke’s puzzle about belief and the role of formal logic in the philosophy of language. (shrink)