Though it wasn’t quite the University of Woolloomooloo, in July 2010 at the Australian National University, I, Dan Singer, was honored to join the company of Dan Greco, Dan Korman, Dan Marshall, Dan(iel) Nolan, and Dan Stoljar.
Courtesy of Thomas Whitney
There sure were a lot of people with the same name … or so you might think …
Dan Singer and Dan Nolan have the same name.
Names are rigid resignators, a la Kripke (1970/80).
So, Dan Singer’s name and Dan Nolan’s name pick out the same thing in all possible worlds.
So, Dan Singer’s name actually picks out the same thing that Dan Nolan’s name picks out.
So, Dan Singer is Dan Nolan.
Either 4 is wrong or I know a lot more about metaphysics than I thought I did. It seems pretty obvious to me that there is an equivocation on “name” between 1 and the rest of the premises. The issue is that I can’t figure out a sense of “name” that makes sense of 1. Here’s why: The natural move is to say that the names of 1 are individuated by their syntactic properties (i.e. the letters and the sounds associated with them). Then admit two senses of “name”. But if this is right, we’d expect the analogous move to apply to words in general, i.e. that there’d be the two analogous senses of “word”. But I’m inclined to deny that there is any sense of “word” such that financial institutions and sides of rivers can be picked out by the same word. Am I just being stubborn on this point? Are there other viable solutions here?