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Northern European Journal of Philosophy

Editor-in-Chief: Addis, Mark / Hämäläinen, Nora / Pedersen, Esther Oluffa / Westphal, Kenneth R.

Managing Editor: Pedersen, Esther Oluffa

Together with Niknam, Arman Teymouri

CiteScore 2017: 0.07

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.107
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.274

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Volume 13, Issue 2


Rigidity, Reference, and Contingent Identity

Fredrik Haraldsen
Published Online: 2012-12-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sats-2012-0007


Although it is commonly denied that the semantic principles of rigid designation and direct reference have essentialist implications it is still common to assume that the principles imply the necessity of identity. Previous attempts to combine rigidity and contingent identity have, accordingly, involved several controversial semantic or metaphysical claims. In this article, however, it is argued that rigidity and the necessity of identity are logically independent principles. Both are needed to derive the data usually claimed to be evidence for the idea that names are rigid designators; thus, there may be little motivation for combining rigidity with contingent identity. The fact that rigidity can consistently be combined with contingent identity shows, importantly, that no nontrivial metaphysical implications can be derived from the semantic principles of rigidity and direct reference alone.

Keywords : Rigidity; Direct Reference; Necessity; Identity

About the article

Published Online: 2012-12-18

Published in Print: 2012-12-01

Citation Information: , Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 116–127, ISSN (Online) 1869-7577, ISSN (Print) 1600-1974, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sats-2012-0007.

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