Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Millikan, Ruth
 
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Sets I 181
Definition necessary identifying/Quantity/Containment/Element/definite description/Millikan: e.g. Superlative.
N.B.: if there are several authors of e.g. Principia Mathematica it is wrong to speak of "the author of Principia Mathematica".
E.g. Brutus was one of several murderers of Caesar.
Wrong: "Brutus murdered Caesar" (!) - wrong: Brutus was the murderer of Caesar.
Solution/Millikan: descriptions that attribute responsibility are necessary indentifying. ((s) They must not vary between singular and plural).
Necessary identifying/definite description/solution/Millikan: refer to parts of collectives, not to elements of sets. ((s) "to be murderer of Caesar" does not constitute a set, but a collective).
E.g. from "Bill is one of John's sons" follows Bill is John's son.
But:
For example, "Brutus was one of Caesar's murderers" does not follow "Brutus was Caesar's murderer". ((s) being-son forms a set, being-murder does not).
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I 182
Superlative/definite description/unambiguous/Millikan: For example, if there are several largest, that are of the same size, it is wrong to say "everyone is the largest".

Millk I
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-04-24