In this article, I argue that recent work in analytic philosophy on the semantics of names and the metaphysics of persistence supports two theses in Buddhist philosophy, namely the impermanence of objects and a corollary about how referential language works. According to this latter package of views, the various parts of what we call one object (say, King Milinda) possess no unity in and of themselves. Unity comes rather from language, in that we have terms (say, ‘King Milinda’) which stand for all the parts taken together. Objects are mind- (or rather language-)generated fictions. I think this package can be cashed out in terms of two central contemporary views. The first is that there are temporal parts: just as an object is spatially extended by having spatial parts at different spatial locations, so it is temporally extended by having temporal parts at different temporal locations. The second is that names are predicates: rather than standing for any one thing, a name stands for a range of things. The natural language term ‘Milinda’ is not akin to a logical constant, but akin to a predicate.
Putting this together, I'll argue that names are predicates with temporal parts in their extension, which parts have no unity apart from falling under the same predicate. ‘Milinda’ is a predicate which has in its extension all Milinda's parts. The result is an interesting and original synthesis of plausible positions in semantics and metaphysics, which makes good sense of a central Buddhist doctrine.