Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Millikan, R. G.: A common structure for concepts of individuals, stuffs, and real kinds: More Mama, more milk, and more mouse

Semantic realism, rigid designation, and dynamic semantics

Alice G. B. ter Meulen a1
a1 Department of Philosophy, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405


Semantic realism fits Millikan's account of kind terms in its focus on information-theoretic abilities and strategic ways of gathering information in human communication. Instead of the traditional logical necessity, we should interpret rigid designation in a dynamic semantics as a legislative act to constrain possible ways in which our belief may change.