McGinn (Colin)
Source: McGinn - Logical Properties, 2000, Chapter 3
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract1

  1. The extensional view that predicates are general terms that refer severally to the members of a set of objects that satisfy them is rejected. Instead, it is argued that predicates refer to properties, and are thus singular terms like names.
  2. The distinction between names and predicates is upheld, but it is argued that what accounts for it is not the spurious distinction between singularity and plurality of reference, but rather grammatical position, and the ontological type of the reference.

Author’s Abstract2
  1. My chapter on predication is mainly a critique of the Quinean conception of predicates as referring multiply to the objects that compose their extensions, instead of singly to properties or attributes. Again, the appearances suggest that "red", say, refers to the property of being red, but Quine proposes that ""red" refers to each of the many red things there are, scattered as they may be.
  2. My procedure is to construct a contrived semantics according to which ordinary names are taken to refer multiply to the many properties possessed by their bearer, instead of referring simply to the bearer itself. I show that such a semantics can deliver the right truth conditions, however gerrymandered it may appear, and that the Quinean treatment of predicates is really no less artificial.
  3. For fear of accepting properties or attributes into one's ontology, the role of predicates has been twisted and distorted. I end the chapter with the sentiment that extensions are creatures of darkness, clumsy semantic monsters.


Photocopy filed in "Various - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 10 (M1: Ma-Mc)".

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from Oxford Scholarship Online.

Footnote 2: Taken from "McGinn (Colin) - Précis of 'Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Prediction, Necessity, Truth'".

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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