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Recognition, Naming and Bare Particulars

  • John Trentman (a1)

In a recent discussion of the notion of substance Miss Anscombe points out that the following three doctrines are very closely associated: the doctrine that proper names lack all connotation, are mere labels, the view that there is nothing essential to the individual, and the doctrine that individuals are bare particulars with no properties in and of themselves. In this article as well as in other writings she rejects all three of these doctrines. And, along with P. T. Geach, whose position on this matter I take to be identical to hers, she defends a doctrine of proper names that is based upon this rejection. She is quite right in supposing that the notion of individuality embodied in these three doctrines is not a straw man. E. B. Allaire has recently defended the doctrine that there are bare particulars along with its corollaries about names and the nominal essence of individuals. He even thinks the doctrine can be defended on “common sense” grounds, independently of dialectical considerations. In this paper I wish to examine one of his arguments in defence of bare particulars.

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1 Anscombe G. E. M., “Substance, I”, The Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume XXXVIII (1964), p. 70.

2 Allaire Edwin B. et al, Essays in Ontology (Iowa City, 1963), p. 79.

3 Cf. Moore's G. E. note in Some Main Problems of Philosophy (Collier, New York, 1962), p. 93, that what Russell had called “knowledge by acquaintance” had no right to be called either “knowledge” or “acquaintance”.

4 Cf. Bergmann Gustav, Logic and Reality (Madison, 1964), p. 174.

6 See Bouwsma O. K., Philosophical Essays (Lincoln, 1965), pp. 187 ff.

6 loc. cit.

7 Anscombe G. E. M. and Geach P. T., Three Philosophers (Oxford, 1961) p. 8.

8 Geach P. T., Reference and Generality (Ithaca, 1962), pp. 4344.

9 Substance, II”, The Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume XXXVIII (1964), p. 81.

10 Reference and Generality, p. 44.

11 Robinson William S. has discussed this sort of difficulty with Geach's view of identification in “Judgments Involving Identification”, Analysis, XXIV, No. 6 (June 1964), 206208.

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Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review / Revue canadienne de philosophie
  • ISSN: 0012-2173
  • EISSN: 1759-0949
  • URL: /core/journals/dialogue-canadian-philosophical-review-revue-canadienne-de-philosophie
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