more from Richard Cartwright

Single Idea 13953

[catalogued under 9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 3. Relative Identity]

Full Idea

For an ostension to be successful it is surely not necessary that I gather what sort of object it is you have indicated, such as being a horse or a zebra. I may even gather which thing you have indicated without knowing that it is a mammal or even alive.


An 'ostension' is an act of pointing out

Gist of Idea

An act of ostension doesn't seem to need a 'sort' of thing, even of a very broad kind


Richard Cartwright (Some Remarks on Essentialism [1968], p.157)

Book Reference

Cartwright,Richard: 'Philosophical Essays' [MIT 1987], p.157

A Reaction

This nicely articulates the objection I have always felt to Geach's relative identity. 'Oh my God, what the hell is THAT???' is probably going to be a successful act of verbal reference, even while explicitly denying all knowledge of sortals.