Names, identity, and predication

Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2631-2647 (2018)
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It is commonly accepted, after Frege, that identity statements like “Tully is Cicero” differ from statements like “Tully is Tully”. For the former, unlike the latter, are informative. One way to deal with the information problem is to postulate that the terms ‘Tully’ and ‘Cicero’ come equipped with different informative values. Another approach is to claim that statements like these are of the subject/predicate form. As such, they should be analyzed along the way we treat “Tully walks”. Since proper names can appear in predicative position we could go as far as to dismiss the sign of identity altogether, some told us. I will try to discuss the advantages and/or disadvantages of this approach and investigate whether Frege’s view that the ‘is’ of identity must be distinguished from the ‘is’ of predication can be reconciled with the fact that names can appear in predicative position.

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Eros Corazza
University of the Basque Country


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