Canonical Property Designators (B. Schnieder)

Published in American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (2006), 119–32.

Abstract: The article scrutinises the semantics of canonical property designators of the forms ‘the property of being F’ and ‘F-ness’. First it is argued that, as their form suggests, the former are definite definitions, albeit of a special sort. Secondly, the prima facie plausible classification of the latter as proper names (which is often met in philosophical writings) is rejected. The semantics of such terms is developed and it is shown how its proper understanding yields important consequences about the concepts expressed by these terms.