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Intensional Orientation

Project 1

A recently advanced proposal argued that names, both first and last, be done away with. Instead of the traditional names, a combination letter and digit identification number was suggested as a substitute.

The advantages of this procedure, the advocates point out, is that with the tremendous increase in population the name has lost its distinctiveness – a look through any phone book of a large city will convince most people that names are not individual or distinctive as they once were. Secondly, numbers have the advantage of eliminating much of the prejudice associated with some names; certain ethnic names, for example, are often responded to with prejudice without any consideration of the individual himself. Thirdly, children will no longer have to be ashamed of their names as they often are. An odd or different name, which may sound most appropriate to parents, often creates problems for the child, especially upon entering school. But most importantly, this change would simplify current identification procedures. Each person would have one distinctive number, and this would be not only his "name" but his identification number for credit cards, bank account, license plate, social security card, passport, and all similar forms.

What do you think? Why do you feel as you do? Can you identify those reasons which are primarily logical and those which are primarily emotional? How would you describe your feelings and attitudes in terms of intension and extension? Do you think this question is a "put on?" Why?