Studia Neoaristotelica

Volume 1, Issue 1/2, 2004

A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism

Lukáš Novák
Pages 10-32

Sémantika vlastních jmen a identitní teorie predikace
A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism

Saul Kripke denies that the reference of a proper name is mediated through a sense (an intension, a concept), and claims that it has to be immediate for „rigidity“ of a proper name to be saved. On the other hand, the version of the Identity Theory of predication according to which predication is characterised as intentional identification of the conceptual content of the predicate with the object represented by the subject-concept requires that there be a concept (sense of the term) at the places both of the subject and of the predicate. This paper is an attempt to propose a conception that purports to maintain the Identity Theory of predication with its demand for proper names to have senses and respond to Kripkean arguments while retaining the rigidity of proper names. Two main theses are defended: 1) Whether a term refers rigidly or non-rigidly does not depend on the nature of the term (i. e. whether it is a name or a description), but on the intention of the speaker/writer. Consequently, both names and descriptions can be used both rigidly and non-rigidly. 2) There is a „minimal sense“ to any proper name which can generaly be described as follows: „the person who has been given the name so-and-so“. The expression „has been given the name“ describes a „relation of reason“, which must be strictly distinguished from the relation of reference of the name, in order to avoid a vicious circle in reference determination, something against which Kripke warned.