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This article explores the continuing debate, from antiquity to the present, over the nature of names. While divided on the role of human choice versus adherence to an idea or object’s true nature in the naming process, ancient intellectuals from Greece, Rome, and China largely agreed on the necessity of codifying names to ensure political and universal stability. One notable exception was the Daoists, who advocated for namelessness, believing that names created divisions and binaries that were inconsistent with the united nature of reality. In contrast to the ancients, many of today's students do not agree on the extent of language's power over humans and value the fluidity of language over its rectification.

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