On the Notion of Rigidity for General Terms
Author: Zouhar, Marián
Source: Grazer Philosophische Studien, Grazer Philosophische Studien. Edited by Johannes L. Brandl, Marian David, Maria E. Reicher, Leopold Stubenberg , pp. 207-229(23)
Abstract:The present paper examines three kinds of theories concerning the rigidity of general terms—extensionalist, essentialist and intensionalist theories. It is argued that both essentialist and intensionalist theories cannot deal successfully with a number of problems and that the notions of rigidity they propose for general terms lack sufficient explanatory power. A version of the extensionalist theory, supplemented with a hierarchy of intensions, is defended. The theory has surprising consequences, e.g., that 'tiger' and some other natural kind terms are, contrary to the widespread opinion, non-rigid.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2009-05-01