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3V0831.01 Names as unique identifiers: Rob is a person; she is a toddler, not a person. (5/2/80)

Peggy has two toys, a dog and a cat, which were once containers of
bubble bath. The blue cat she refers to as “kitty.” The pink poodle she
formerly referred to as a dog. Recently I told her the dog was an
animal. Thereafter she denied the “animal” was a dog and also denied
“kitty” was an animal. I then asked Peggy if she was a good girl. She
replied, “I’m a toddler.” I continued, “Are you a good kid?” She
responded, “Robby’s a kid. Mimi’s a kid.” I pushed on, “Robby’s a
person and so is Mimi. Are you a person too ?” Peggy concluded, “No.
I’m a toddler.”

My interpretation is that Peggy has used labels, names, as unique
identifiers (as proper nouns more than common nouns; this is no
problem – if people have the same names in different families, why
shouldn’t objects have the same names in different families, while
maintaining as much individuality as people do?) This issue led to
raising this sort of question in VT _____, where Peggy first admitted
she was both a toddler and a person.

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