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Essays on Reference, Language, and Mind$
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Keith Donnellan, Joseph Almog, and Paolo Leonardi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199857999

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199857999.001.0001

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The Contingent A Priori and Rigid Designators

The Contingent A Priori and Rigid Designators

(p.147) [6] The Contingent A Priori and Rigid Designators
Essays on Reference, Language, and Mind

Keith Donnellan

Joseph Almog

Paolo Leonardi

Oxford University Press

This chapter talks about the contingent a priori and rigid designators. A rigid designator is a term that picks out the same thing in all possible worlds in which that thing exists. As a consequence of this, there is a possibility of knowing a priori contingent truths about the world. It states that if a truth is a contingent one, then it is made true by some actual state of affairs in the world that exists independently of language and linguistic conventions. It also suggests that the procedure for introducing a term as a rigid designator, which Saul Kripke describes, does not have the consequence claimed for it and does not yield the possibility of knowing a priori contingent truths.

Keywords:   a priori, rigid designators, contingent truths, Saul Kripke, language, linguistic conventions

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