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Truth by AnalysisGames, Names, and Philosophy$
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Colin McGinn

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199856145

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199856145.001.0001

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The Sense of Names

The Sense of Names

(p.107) 8 The Sense of Names
Truth by Analysis

Colin McGinn

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the philosophy of proper names, arguing that names offer one of the strongest challenges against the position taken in this book, both in themselves and in the general moral that they seem to imply. It concludes that naming and essence go hand in hand: naming requires descriptions, but the descriptions have to be rigid, so they must express essences—thus there are no names of objects without essences of objects. If you lack essence, you must remain nameless. In general, language can be about reality only because reality has what-it-is-to-be. Language expresses essence.

Keywords:   proper names, philosophy, language, essence, naming

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