Vallicella has now apparently accepted my arguments against grammatically proper names being translatable into the ‘logical constants’ of modern predicate logic (MPL). But this leaves him with the problem that there are also strong arguments against translating them into the predicates of MPL. I summarised these arguments earlier in June, as follows.
Argument 1 was that a proper name does not signify something that is repeatable, therefore does not signify a property. Therefore it signifies an object. A reply is here.
Argument 2 was that a name cannot be significant or intelligible to another unless the idea of what the name applies to is in the other person’s mind. But we can only have the idea of a particular thing by being acquainted with that thing, which is only possible if that thing actually exists. A reply is here.
Argument 3 was that definition proceeds by genus and specific difference. Therefore a proper name cannot be defined, for they name individuals, and individuals are not species. They have no specific difference, and can only be distinguished by the proper name itself. A reply is here.
Argument 4 was that truth-conditional semantics rests on the assumption that the conditions for the truth of a sentence give the sentence’s meaning or significance. But there is no truth evaluable content when reference failure occurs. If there are no truth conditions, then there is no meaning or significance. I have not replied to this argument yet.
If Vallicella accepts these arguments as well as those he summarises in his post, he is apparently left with the problem that ordinary language cannot be translated into MPL at all. Is that a problem?