Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sentences as names

I regularly visit Vallicella’s place although no longer comment there due to the sometimes alarming responses. Today’s one caught my eye. I stopped right at the first leg of his aporetic triad, and went no further.

1. 'Al is fat' is the name of the fact of Al's being fat.

Come off it. The expression ‘the name of the fact of Al's being fat’ is the name of the fact of Al's being fat. As for 'Al is fat', it names nothing. Although it does express the proposition that Al is fat.


Michael Sullivan said...

I had the exact same reaction. A sentence is not a name!

I also used to read Vallicella regularly, but stopped for a long time, also due to frustration and disappointment with responses. Because I couldn't keep myself from commenting and getting frustrated, I stopped visiting. I only just started reading him again, with a determination only to observe.

Michael Sullivan said...
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Michael Sullivan said...

Speaking of Dr Vallicella, as I said, I only just went back to reading him, and doing some catching up I came across the exchange between you and him about thinking of singulars. It's funny, because although you call yourself "the nominalist" there, and I am emphatically not a nominalist, and I don't think Vallicella is either, I was much more on your side in that exchange than his (Scotus by the way says much the same thing you do about signifying singulars in his Meta. VII, though you might know this quite well). It must be the scholastic habits of mind.

Edward Ockham said...

Scotus on Meta 7 is something I am struggling with :)

Michael Sullivan said...

Good luck! I actually wrote my MA thesis on this topic - the intelligibility and cognition of the singular in Scotus' Meta. VII - but it's been a few years since I've looked at it. I've been reading through Scotus' commentary again lately and am up to lib. V; I'm interested to see if VII looks any different to me now!