- “Richard Nixon”
- a Non-Rigid Designator, such as: “The US President in 1970”, could have been “Humphrey”.
- See: Causal Theory of Reference, Name, Object, Causal Connection, Community of Speakers, A Posteriori Necessity, Flaccid Designator, Modal Logic, Possible Worlds.
- (Wikipedia, 2015) ⇒ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/rigid_designator Retrieved:2015-11-17.
- In modal logic and the philosophy of language, a term is said to be a rigid designator when it designates (picks out, denotes, refers to) the same thing in all possible worlds in which that thing exists  and does not designate anything else in those possible worlds in which that thing does not exist. A designator is persistently rigid if it designates the same thing in every possible world in which that thing exists and designates nothing in all other possible worlds. A designator is obstinately rigid if it designates the same thing in every possible world, period, whether or not that thing exists in that world. Rigid designators are contrasted with non-rigid or flaccid designators, which may designate different things in different possible worlds.
- Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Revised Second Edition 2008, p. 318
- QUOTE: A rigid designator designates the same object in all possible worlds in which that object exists and never designates anything else. This technical concept in the philosophy of language has critical consequences felt throughout philosophy. In their fullest generality, the consequences are metaphysical and epistemological. Whether a statement's designators are rigid or non-rigid may determine whether it is necessarily true, necessarily false, or contingent. This metaphysical status is sometimes out of accord with what one would expect given a statement's apparent epistemological status as a posteriori or a priori. Statements affected include central ones under investigation in philosophical subdisciplines from the philosophy of science to mind to ethics and aesthetics. Hence, much of the discussion in various subdisciplines of philosophy is explicitly or implicitly framed around the distinction between rigid and non-rigid designators.
- (Rory, 1980) ⇒ Richard Rorty. (1980). “Kripke versus Kant.” In: London Review of Books, 2(17).
- QUOTE: Kripke tries to sober us up by denying that meaning determines reference. Rather, we name things by confronting them and baptising them, not by creating them out of a list of qualities. Names are not, pace Russell, shorthand for such lists. They are not abbreviations for descriptions, but (in Kripke’s coinage) ‘rigid designators’ – that is, they would name the same things in any possible world, including worlds in which their bearers did not have the properties we, in this world, use to identify them.
- (Kripke, 1980) ⇒ Saul Kripke. (1980). “Naming and Necessity." Harvard University Press. ISBN:0674598466
- QUOTE: (p.48) Let's call something a rigid designator if in every possible world it designates the same object, a nonrigid or accidental designator if that is not the case. Of course we don't require that the objects exist in all possible worlds. Certainly Nixon might not have existed if his parents had not gotten married, in the normal course of things. When we think of a property as essential to an object we usually mean that it is true of that object in any case where it would have existed. A rigid designator of a necessary existent can be called 'strongly rigid.