more from Bob Hale

Single Idea 10313

[catalogued under 5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / d. Singular terms]

Full Idea

Some examples where a definite singular noun phrase is not 'genuine' (giving ontological commitment): 'left us in the lurch'; 'for my mother's sake'; 'given the sack'; 'in the nick of time', 'the whereabouts of the PM', 'the identity of the murderer'.

Gist of Idea

Plenty of clear examples have singular terms with no ontological commitment


Bob Hale (Abstract Objects [1987], Ch.2.II)

Book Reference

Hale,Bob: 'Abstract Objects' [Blackwell 1987], p.21

A Reaction

These are not just freakish examples. If I 'go on a journey', that doesn't involve extra entities called 'journeys', just because the meaning is clearer and a more commonplace part of the language.