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Rigid Designators

 
 
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 09:17 am
@mickalos,
mickalos;146999 wrote:
Presumably, upon discovering it's molecular structure, we would not conclude that some water is not H2O, instead we would treat as we treat fool's gold: it isn't gold.


Also, wouldn't we treat Fool's Nixon the same way upon discovering that he wasn't president? If we reject non-H2O water as water because our water is H2O then shouldn't we reject non-presidential Nixon as Nixon because our Nixon was a president?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 09:23 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;149590 wrote:
Also, wouldn't we treat Fool's Nixon the same way upon discovering that he wasn't president? If we reject non-H2O water as water because our water is H2O then shouldn't we reject non-presidential Nixon as Nixon because our Nixon was a president?


No, since Nixon might not have been president. But it is not true that gold might not have had the atomic number 79.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 09:28 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149595 wrote:
No, since Nixon might not have been president. But it is not true that gold might not have had the atomic number 79.


The comment you replied to made no mention of gold or atomic numbers. Could you please provide some more context for your post because right now it doesn't make much sense at all.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 09:32 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;149598 wrote:
The comment you replied to made no mention of gold or atomic numbers. Could you please provide some more context for your post because right now it doesn't make much sense at all.


Right, another example, then. A substance could not be water unless it contained Oxygen. But Nixon might not have been president. I would have thought you could make the shift from water to gold since you did mention "fool's Nixon". But I suppose I was giving you more credit than I should have done.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 09:41 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149600 wrote:
A substance could not be water unless it contained Oxygen.


Why not?

kennethamy;149600 wrote:
But I suppose I was giving you more credit than I should have done.


As usual, you are mostly incoherent and then become abusive when people are perplexed by your sophistry. Stick to the argument.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 09:51 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;149603 wrote:
Why not?



As usual, you are mostly incoherent and then become abusive when people are perplexed by your sophistry. Stick to the argument.


Because it is necessary condition of water that it contain oxygen. It is a part of the definition of "water". Why would you think that it wasn't? It certainly is not a necessary condition of Nixon that he be president.

If you had not used the term "fool's Nixon", I would not have used gold as my example. You can, I suppose, understand that.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 09:52 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149607 wrote:
Because it is necessary condition of water that it contain oxygen.


Why is it a necessary condition of water that it contain oxygen?
xris
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 09:59 am
@Night Ripper,
Can you drown without it?
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 10:00 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;149608 wrote:
Why is it a necessary condition of water that it contain oxygen?


As you would say, "it just is". You can see that it is by contrasting it with the Nixon example, since it is clear that it is not a necessary condition of being Nixon that Nixon be president. There is a theory of natural kinds to support the position that water is necessarily H2O.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 10:58 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149612 wrote:
There is a theory of natural kinds to support the position that water is necessarily H2O.


I'm aware of that but just pointing to a theory doesn't help me see how it's true.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 02:18 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;149636 wrote:
I'm aware of that but just pointing to a theory doesn't help me see how it's true.


I suggested that you contrast, water must contain oxygen with, Nixon must be president. How could water not contain oxygen? What would such a substance be like? It would contain hydrogen, but not oxygen. What would make it water? Do the same with Nixon and the presidency.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 02:27 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149685 wrote:
How could water not contain oxygen?


What's stopping it?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 02:59 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;149688 wrote:
What's stopping it?


What is stopping an elephant from not being a mammal? Or an alligator from not being a reptile? Well, it is the same thing that is stopping water from not containing oxygen. But not the same thing that would have stopped Nixon from not being president.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 03:31 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149697 wrote:
What is stopping an elephant from not being a mammal? Or an alligator from not being a reptile? Well, it is the same thing that is stopping water from not containing oxygen.


An elephant is a member of the set of mammals. An alligator is a member of the set of reptiles. How does this relationship apply to oxygen and water? Water isn't a set and oxygen isn't a member of that set. Also, what is stopping an elephant from not being a mammal? Nothing I suppose.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 04:32 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;149711 wrote:
An elephant is a member of the set of mammals. An alligator is a member of the set of reptiles. How does this relationship apply to oxygen and water? Water isn't a set and oxygen isn't a member of that set. Also, what is stopping an elephant from not being a mammal? Nothing I suppose.


You mean that an elephant can turn into a reptile and lay eggs? Would this take time, or could it happen all of a sudden, like magic? Hell, maybe he could turn into a settee. Or a bed. Who knows? Have you ever read Sartre's novel, Nausea? His main character talks just like that from an overdose of Hume. I don't suppose you have read it, though.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 06:30 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149732 wrote:
You mean that an elephant can turn into a reptile and lay eggs? Would this take time, or could it happen all of a sudden, like magic? Hell, maybe he could turn into a settee. Or a bed. Who knows? Have you ever read Sartre's novel, Nausea? His main character talks just like that from an overdose of Hume. I don't suppose you have read it, though.


Nothing you've said has anything to do with the post you've quoted. Try again.
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 04:36 pm
@Night Ripper,
- when the mars men will invade us ..no
- when earth will be swallowed by a huge alien creature ..no
- when the mirror world of the quantum will explode ..no
- when rationallity exceeds logic ..eh
- when imaginary friends gets world domination ..hmmm
0 Replies
 
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 10:12 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;131076 wrote:
The example of a rigid designator most commonly offered is that of "Richard Nixon", which identifies a particular person. One descriptive phrase for the person "Richard Nixon" could be "the 37th President of the United States". However, there are possible worlds in which Nixon lost the election or died shortly after birth. In those possible worlds, "the 37th President of the United States" doesn't designate Nixon but some other person, e.g. Hubert Humphrey.

The claim made by Kripke and other proponents of rigid designators is that while the "37th President of the United States" only refers to Nixon in this possible world, the phrase "Richard Nixon" refers to Nixon in all possible worlds, even in worlds where Richard Nixon was assassinated as Vice President, died of pneumonia while serving in the senate, had a different name or was even born with some kind of congenital deformity making him unrecognizable to us.

My problem now is that I don't know how far to take this. At what point do I start identifying someone similar to Nixon as a different person instead of Nixon?

Imagine a possible world in which Nixon has an identical twin brother and are both given up for adoption. However, neither of them are named Richard and they both take on the surname of their adopted parents. One is Frank and the other is Fred. Neither of them enter politics. One becomes an electrician and the other a carpenter. They live until ripe old ages, ending up in the same nursing home and dying a few days apart from each other.

Now, one of these men was Nixon and the other was not. Which one? If we can't tell the difference then what sense does it make to claim such a thing?

It seems that for rigid designators to be viable then we have to establish essential properties for identification, yet what essential property could single out a particular person from a crowd?


interesting.... This is i guess the problem posed by personal identity. How exact is you, you given that there is an identical twin identical to you physically in every single way. Here is my solution. we identify you in relation to everything in this world. That is to say, you are identical to your space-time world-line so that it fixes you in all possible world. This solves the problem, but the trade off is that you are a necessary in all possible worlds which is counterintuitive.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 10:20 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;149751 wrote:
Nothing you've said has anything to do with the post you've quoted. Try again.


No point, because since you have not explained to me why what I just posted was irrelevant, I would just repeat what I said. See what I mean?

---------- Post added 05-24-2010 at 12:27 AM ----------

Night Ripper;149711 wrote:
Also, what is stopping an elephant from not being a mammal? Nothing I suppose.


Nothing but not being an elephant. How would it have evolved if it was not a mammal? Where would it have come from? What would make it an elephant? It is, of course true that for all we know an elephant might not be a mammal. But that has to do with our ignorance of biology. It has nothing to do with the nature of elephants. You are projecting what you happen to know about the world on the world. It is epistemically possible for an elephant not to be a mammal, but it is certainly not biologically possible for an elephant not to be a mammal.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 02:16 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;167948 wrote:
It is epistemically possible for an elephant not to be a mammal, but it is certainly not biologically possible for an elephant not to be a mammal.


Why not? Because you said so?

What does biologically possible mean?
0 Replies
 
 

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