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  1. Peter Millican, Statements and Modality Strawson, Quine and Wolfram.
    Over a period of more than twenty years, Sybil Wolfram gave lectures at Oxford University on Philosophical Logic, a major component of most of the undergraduate degree programmes. She herself had been introduced to the subject by Peter Strawson, and saw herself as working very much within the Strawsonian tradition. Central to this tradition, which began with Strawson's seminal attack on Russell's theory of descriptions in ‘On Referring' (1950), is the distinction between a sentence and what is said by a (...)
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2009-03-10
Preserving the Sentence-Statement and Analytic-Synthetic Distinctions
Here is a bit of background: I came across Millican's 1994 paper over the weekend while I was independently researching the philosophy of P.F. Strawson online.  (My resources are quite limited, incidentally.)  I only last week learned of Strawson via the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy while I was looking for interpretations of the Liar's Paradox, and I was struck by an apparent similarity between his and my own.  My interest in Strawson was furthered when I came across the first four pages of "On Referring," in which he claims that expressions do not refer, but that people can refer using expressions.  (This is the idea Millican indicates as Strawson's distinction between sentences and statements, where the latter is determined by a sentence's usage.)  This Wittgensteinian notion had occured to me only days earlier, and is what led me to formulate my own arguments about the Liar's Paradox.  In fact, I had written virtually the exact same sentence as Strawson to express t
 he same idea, though I have yet to find where Strawson explicitly discusses the Liar's, or any other, paradox.  (And by the way, any help on that front would be very much appreciated.)

That's the background.  My concern with Millican's paper has to do with his discussion of Quine's "Necessity Argument" and its relation to analyticity and the sentence-statement distinction.  I emailed Professor Millican immediately upon reading his paper on Saturday, though I have no idea if or when I should expect a response.  In any case, I don't see why I shouldn't post the same question here.

I wrote the following to Professor Millican:
You wrote that, on the Strawsonian account, the following two sentences "express the very same statement":

1)  Nine is greater than seven.
2)  The number of planets is greater than 7.

Why should we think these two sentences express the same statement?

What is expressed by a statement is a matter of how it is used, and either of these two statements can be used in a variety of ways.  Even (1) can have a blatantly non-analytic use:  for example, to indicate that, while a person likes the number seven, she much prefers nine.  Instead of regarding analyticity as a property of sentences, and not statements (as Wolfram appears to do), we are better off regarding it as a kind of usage.  And when we assert that sentence (1) does have an analytic use, and that sentece (2) is being used to express the same analytic statement, we only mean that here "the number of planets" is being defined to mean "nine," and nothing more.  It thus appears to me that Quine's objection fails to take proper account of the sentence-statement distinction.
I think we can maintain both the sentence-statement distinction and the analytic-synthetic distinction here by recognizing the analyticity is a kind of meaning, and thus a kind of usage.  While I am not extremely well-versed in the literature, it appears to me based on Millican's paper that this possibility did not occur to Quine, Wolfram, or Millican.


2009-09-21
Preserving the Sentence-Statement and Analytic-Synthetic Distinctions
If I read you correctly, you seem to be saying that whether a sentence is "analytic" depends on its use. I'm inclined to be sympathetic to this view, as I've never been a great fan of philosophical analysis of such context-free examples. Of course, it is possible that the philosophers you name might not have overlooked this point (that "meaning" depends in some way on use), but regarded it as idiotic or irrelevant. I suspect they had a somewhat different view of language--one that empowers them to analyze isolated sentences like those two without bothering about any context in which they might actually be used.

You realize, of course, that there is a problem with this particular selection of examples? I believe that the view that sentence 2 expresses the same proposition as 1 would have to rest on the assumption that [The number of planets] somehow means "9". I think this is silly, but even if I were to go along with it, I would have to say that this was the case when Strawson wrote his paper, but not today. After the recent demotion of Pluto, the bracketed phrase would have to yield the integer "8". A statement that was true in the past but is false today strikes me as...well...it's not analytical, that's for sure. And unless I've missed a new development in mathematics, 9 is still greater than 7. So, as a statement about the properties of numbers, sentence 1 is, was, and always shall be true.

What was your question, again?

2009-09-22
Preserving the Sentence-Statement and Analytic-Synthetic Distinctions
Reply to Peter T. Cash
You've read me correctly.  However, it is not plausible that the philosophers in question would have noticed, but disregarded, the point in question.  For the point is at the very heart of the sentence/statement distinction.  If meaning is a matter of use, then we cannot have an analytic meaning which was not also a matter of use.  Quine's argument is against the claim that statements, and not sentences, are bearers of truth.  Yet, to make that argument, he assumes that a sentence, and not a statement, is analytically true.  It's begging the question.  Wolfram should have called him on it, but instead agreed that the sentence in question was analytic.  This betrays the sentence/statement distinction.

The reason "9 is greater than 7" seems analytically true, as compared with "the number of planets is greater than 7," is because we more often use the former in an analytic way, and rarely (if ever) have occasion to use the latter in that way.  Thus, as I pointed out, if we do define "the number of planets" to mean "9," then we can use the second sentence in the same analytic sense as we use the first.

So I disagree that there is any problem with this particular set of examples.

So my question is, am I missing something here?  Has Millican misrepresented the Quine/Wolfram debate?  Or have Quine, Millican, and Wolfram all missed the point of the sentence/statment distinction, in so far as they have neglected its implications for analyticity?

2009-11-16
Preserving the Sentence-Statement and Analytic-Synthetic Distinctions
Jason, if you will be so kind as to give more info, I may be able to sort this out.
What exactly is Quine's argument? What is its conclusion? Where does it appear?

What exactly is Millican's response to it?

Thank you, Jim

2009-11-16
Preserving the Sentence-Statement and Analytic-Synthetic Distinctions
OK, I think I may have figured it out. I quote you:

'You wrote that, on the Strawsonian account, the following two sentences "express the very same statement":

1)  Nine is greater than seven.
2)  The number of planets is greater than 7.

Why should we think these two sentences express the same statement?'

Millican is right as far as I can tell. On the Strawsonian account, the two sentences express the very same statement.
Note that Millican isn't saying this is his (Millican's) view, only that it is a consequence of Strawson's account.
So the question should be--'Why does Strawson think these two sentences express the same statement?'

Answer: According to Strawson, names, indexicals (like 'this') and definite descriptions add nothing to the statements the sentences
containing them are used to express. (On the last of these, definite descriptions, Strawson famously disagreed with Russell's
Theory of Definite Descriptions, but we won't do that now.)

Suppose Strawson is right. Then 'Nine' and 'The number of the planets'  add nothing to the statements that 1 and 2 express.
What makes those statements the statements they are is simply the entities (or entity) these singular terms are used
to refer to and what we go on to say about them (the entities).

As both of these singular terms ('singular terms' are terms purporting to denote just one thing) are used to refer to
the number nine (given their standard English meanings), and 1 and 2 go on to say the same thing about it, 1 and 2 express the very same statement.

Plenty of people disagree with this, but it does seem a consequence of Strawson's account--at least as represented by
Millikan.

The problem that is supposed to arise for Strawson is this.

Statements, on Strawson's account, are what bear truth values, not sentences. Consequently necessary truths are statements, not sentences,
as sentences aren't true (or false).

Now 1 is widely accepted to be analytic. This means that, given the standard meanings of the terms, that sentence must express a necessary truth.
As 'nine' is defined as 'the successor of 8' and '8' is defined as 'the successor of 7,' it cannot be false that 9 is greater than 7.
That is, the statement expressed by the sentence '9 is greater than 7' (GIVEN the standard meaning of the English words) cannot be false.

However the statement expressed by 2 (given the standard meaning of the English terms) isn't a necessary truth. For it isn't a necessary
truth that the number of the planets is greater than seven. It might have been seven or six. We might indeed discover tomorrow that
the number of the planets is really 5.

As the statement expressed by 1 is a necessary truth and the statement expressed by 2 is NOT a necessary truth, it follows that they
are different statements. A consequence of Strawson's account, however, is that they are one and the same. Therefore Strawson's
account is mistaken.

Millican goes on to criticize this argument.

2009-11-16
Preserving the Sentence-Statement and Analytic-Synthetic Distinctions
Reply to Jim Stone
Professor Stone,

Thanks for trying to help.  I apparently need to clarify my problem here a bit.

The sentence/statement distinction is based on the notion of meaning as use, so that what a sentence means--the statement it expresses--is a matter of how it is used.  (This distinction shouldn't be attributed solely to Strawson, of course, as it goes back at least as far as Ryle's "Systematically Misleading Expressions," 1932).

It seems obvious that "the number of planets is greater than 7" is not normally used in the same way "nine is greater than 7" is used.  This is because "the number of planets" does not normally mean "nine."  Of course, we can say the number of planets is nine, but that is not to say that the two expressions mean the same thing.

For example, "the number of planets has changed" does not mean that the number nine has changed.  Also, if I ask if the number of planets is greater than seven, I am not asking if nine is greater than seven.  Further, a person can think that there are somewhere between 8 and 10 planets, and so say that the number of planets is greater than seven without meaning that the number of planets is nine, or that nine is greater than seven.

So I cannot agree with your claim that these terms ("nine" and "the number of planets") are both used to refer to the number nine.  Only in very unusual cases does "the number of planets" refer to the number nine.  (For example, if I am thinking of the number nine, and I tell you I am thinking of a number between one and ten, and you ask, "is it the number of planets?"  I can respond, "yes, I am thinking of the number of planets," and so mean that I am thinking of the number nine.)

And I cannot agree with your claim that the expressions "nine" and "the number of planets" add nothing to the statements the sentences express, and I'm afraid I don't understand what motivates your assertion here in the first place.  The statement our words express is how those words are used, and this usually depends somewhat on the words we use.

Regards,

Jason
Nov. 16, 2009

2009-11-17
Preserving the Sentence-Statement and Analytic-Synthetic Distinctions
Please, 'Jim,' for heaven's sake!
I wrote:

'According to Strawson, names, indexicals (like 'this') and definite descriptions add nothing to the statements the sentences
containing them are used to express. (On the last of these, definite descriptions, Strawson famously disagreed with Russell's
Theory of Definite Descriptions, but we won't do that now.)

Suppose Strawson is right. Then 'Nine' and 'The number of the planets'  add nothing to the

statements that 1 and 2 express.
What makes those statements the statements they are is simply the entities (or entity) these singular terms are used
to refer to and what we go on to say about them (the entities).'

What's this mean? Some people maintain that the meanings of words like 'Nine' and 'The number of the planets' are constituents of the statements
(propositions, really) we express when we use the words to refer. Obviously 'Nine' and 'The number of the planets' have different meanings, as you
point out. So, on this account, the statements (propositions) we express in sentences using these words to refer would indeed be different.

However there is another view. Even though these singular terms have different meanings, they do, in fact, denote the same thing, namely,
the number nine. When we use these terms referentially, their whole contribution to the proposition we express is their denotation.
That entity, the number nine, is a constituent of the proposition we express, NOT the meanings of the singular terms we use
to denote it.

On this second account (which I don't much like), the following sentences, which have different meanings,
when used referentially in standard English, express the SAME proposition.

1. Nine is greater than seven.

2. The number of the planets is greater than seven.

According to Millican, this is Strawson's view. So a consequence of Strawson's view (as presented by M) is that 1 and 2 express the same proposition.
But, the argument from Quine is adapted to go, they express different propositions, since 1 expresses a necessary truth but 2 does not.
This is an argument against Strawson's view--Millican goes on to reject the argument, I think.

It is in no way part of Strawson's view that 'Nine' and 'the number of the planets' have the same semantic meaning. The point is that what they
contribute to the statements we express when we use them referentially is simply and solely their Denotation.

You write:
'For example, "the number of planets has changed" does not mean that the number nine has changed.' Note, though, that this isn't a referential use of
'the number of the planets.' The definite description isn't being used as a singular term, to refer to a particular number. Otherwise the statement is absurd, as you note.
We use the sentence to say that there are fewer (or more) planets than there used to be. The planets had different numbers then and now.

But suppose that nine is the number of the planets.
And I say, meaning to refer to the number of the planets, whatever it is,
'The number of the planets is greater than seven.'
You meanwhile assert 'Nine is greater than seven.'

Then, the argument goes, according to Strawson we both assert the same statement/proposition.
Because the fact is that both the definite description and the proper name denote the same thing
and THAT thing, not the meanings of the words, is a constituent of the proposition we express.
But the proposition you express is a necessary truth, the proposition I express is not a necessary truth.
So we do NOT assert the same proposition.

Again, I'm not endorsing this argument, nor is Millican. Hope this helps.


2009-11-19
Preserving the Sentence-Statement and Analytic-Synthetic Distinctions
Reply to Jim Stone
Jim,

I don't see where Strawson stakes out the position you are attributing to him.  Perhaps you do not mean to attribute anything to Strawson, and are only clarifying what Millican attributes to Strawson.  Of course, Millican may just be repeating what Wolfram (and possibly Quine) attributed to Strawson.  Whatever the case, I think there's something fishy going on.

I haven't read a great deal of Strawson, but I reread "On Referring" today to make sure I haven't overlooked anything.  I might be missing something, though, because I don't see where he claims that the expressions we use add nothing to the statements so expressed, and I remain doubtful that he would adopt such a view.  Perhaps this is the source of all the confusion.

Strawson clearly distinguishes between the meaning of a sentence and particular uses of that sentence.  But he does not draw a solid line between the meaning of a sentence and its use.  On the contrary, by Strawson's account, there is a link between the meaning of our expressions and the statements we use them to express.  I'll quote Strawson ("On Referring," 1950, in Logico-Linguistic Papers, p. 7):  "The meaning of a sentence cannot be identified with the assertion it is used, on a particular occasion, to make.  For to talk about the meaning of an expression or sentence is not to talk about its use on a particular occasion, but about the rules, habits, conventions governing its correct use, on all occasions, to refer or to assert."

The point here is not that the meaning of a sentence has nothing to do with the statement it expresses.  The meaning of a sentence just is the many ways it can be used, according to the rules, habits, conventions, and so on, of discourse.  The point is that the meaning of a sentence is not restricted to any particular use of the sentence, so that a sentence can be meaningful even if it has no referring use at present.  (Strawson's goal here, of course, is to provide grounds for the view that "The King of France is bald" is meaningful even though it does not refer to anybody.)

The question is, where does Strawson claim that the meaning of a uniquely referring expression has nothing to do with the statement a sentence expresses when it is used in a particular instance?

While it is true that we can understand the meaning of a sentence without appealing to any particular referring use of that sentence, it does not follow that we can interpret any particular referring use of a sentence without appealing to its meaning.

To return to the example at hand, between "the number of planets" and "nine" . . .

I don't see how "the number of planets is greater than seven" refers to the number nine any more than "the number of planets has changed" refers to the number nine.  Which is to say, it doesn't refer to the number nine at all.  This is most obvious in the case of a person uttering the sentence with the intent to refer to some number between 8 and 10, but without a specific number in mind.  It is also true in the case of a person who thinks of the number nine in particular, for they do not mean to say, "nine is greater than seven."  If I say, thinking the number of planets is nine, "the number of planets is greater than seven," you would not ask, "you mean to say that the number nine is greater than seven?"  Clearly that is not what I mean to say, unless the situation was wholly unconventional.

The sentence "the number of planets is greater than seven" could mean that, if you count the number of planets, you will count past seven.  This is meaningful even if there are no planets, or even if there are only two planets.  But it is only true in those cases where the number of planets is greater than seven.  Yet, we do not refer to the specific number of planets by uttering this sentence.  So it does not express the same proposition as "nine is greater than seven," unless--as I have said already--we specifically define "the number of planets" to mean "nine."  This seems perfectly in line with Strawson's sentence/statement distinction as it is drawn in "On Referring."

Regards,

Jason
Nov. 17, 2009



2009-11-20
Preserving the Sentence-Statement and Analytic-Synthetic Distinctions
Right, I am trying to explicate Millican's account of Strawson, not Strawson, and I am in no position now to check Strawson. However Millican and Wolfram are defenders
of Strawson, the latter studied with him, both seem quite good philosophers. So my own view is that, while it's possible they have seriously misunderstood Strawson,
they may well have got him right. If I were interested in Millican and Wolfram and Strawson, therefore, I would proceed on the working assumption that they may well
be understanding Strawson well enough and go on to at least understand how they defend him against the problem they think Quine poses. After all,
views like these are held, so, even if Strawson didn't hold it, it's worth seeing how Quine's objection to them can be rebutted--if it can. The Wolfran/Millican
objection to Quine is worth considering for its own sake.

If you haven't read it already, you might read Frege's Sense and Reference, which is the seminal work on this sort of issue and which
all of these discussions presuppose--not that everyone agrees with him. 

I probably haven't done a good job of explicating Millican on Wolfram on Strawson, so I will let Millican do his own work. Here is his own account of the alleged difficulty
for Strawson.

'On the Strawson/Wolfram account, two sentence utterances (or inscriptions etc.) make the same statement if they ‘say the same of the same object(s)’ (PLI p.36).  No doubt many subtle ambiguities and problems lurk beneath the surface of this apparently straightforward definition, but at least in many simple cases it seems fairly easy to apply.  Thus for example the two sentences:

            (1)        The Earth is inhabited

and      (2)        This planet is inhabited

will express one and the same statement, despite their verbal differences, provided only that the two are uttered simultaneously and that the latter is uttered by someone who is either on the Earth, or who is otherwise identifying the Earth as the planet to which reference is intended.  As long as both sentences are used to talk about the same object, namely the Earth, and as long as both are used to say the same about that object, namely that it is inhabited at the same particular time, then both express the same Strawsonian statement.

Central to this account is the notion of a referring expression, since it is definitive of a genuine referring expression that it serves only to pick out an object, and does not contribute in any other way to the statement expressed by a sentence in which it occurs.[1]  It is precisely for this reason that two referring expressions which designate the same object may be freely substituted for each other without altering the statement expressed.  Thus a theory of statements will not be complete until a ruling is made as to which kinds of expression may perform the function of genuine reference: names and demonstratives are obviously plausible candidates, but doubts may arise in the case of definite descriptions.  A Russellian analysis, for example, would view definite descriptions as disguised quantifiers, and would therefore refuse to count them as genuine referring expressions.  Strawson and Wolfram, on the other hand, reject the Russellian theory of descriptions, and both are happy to accept that a definite description can be used for the function of ‘uniquely referring’, though it does not follow that this is their only possible use (Strawson 1971 p.1;  QSNT pp.235-6; PLI pp.55-60).  In considering the Strawson/Wolfram theory of statements, I shall accordingly take for granted this view of definite descriptions.[2]

We are now in a position to examine the Quinean objection based on referential opacity in modal contexts.  This starts from the assumption that a sentence expresses a necessary truth if and only if it is analytic (Quine 1953 p.143; 1960 pp.195-6).  Of course Quine has well-known reservations about analyticity, but in this context he is prepared for the sake of the argument to go along with the judgements of analyticity which he assumes would be acceptable to those who are happy with the notion.  On this basis he observes that of the following two sentences, the first would generally be judged to be analytic, whereas the second would not:

            (3)        Nine is greater than seven.

            (4)        The number of the planets is greater than seven.

Now if we take the statement expressed by a sentence to be the primary bearer of truth and hence of necessary truth (since to be necessarily true is simply to be true of necessity), and if we take analyticity of expression to be the criterion of necessary truth, then it seems to follow that the statement expressed by (3) is necessary, whereas the statement expressed by (4) is contingent.  But since on the Strawsonian account (3) and (4) express the very same statement, we are apparently left with an intolerable paradox.



[1]It is worth noting that the original target of Quine’s Necessity Argument is the notion of a ‘purely referential’ expression (‘Reference and Modality’, in Quine 1953, p.140), though because of this intimate connection Wolfram is right to see the argument as equally threatening to the Strawsonian statement.

[2]For detailed argument against Russell’s theory of descriptions, see Millican (1990) pp.169-80.  Later in that paper, however, I indicate reasons for doubting whether a clear line can be drawn between a definite description’s referring and describing roles.'





2009-11-20
Preserving the Sentence-Statement and Analytic-Synthetic Distinctions
Reply to Jim Stone
Just to add that Millican lists in his bibliography:

Strawson P.F. (1971).  Logico-Linguistic Papers, London: Methuen.

He cites it in his exposition of Strawson.  I believe you may have this book, in fact. This book apparently includes several articles, after 'On Referring,'  in which Strawson discussed statements/propositions (see Millican's first footnote). Perhaps these shed more light on Strawson's views on these matters.


2009-11-22
Preserving the Sentence-Statement and Analytic-Synthetic Distinctions
Reply to Jim Stone
Jim,

I've gone through Millican and Wolfram more closely, and I think I have a better grasp of what's going on.

My original concern was that Millican (following Wolfram) talks about analyticity as a property of sentences, and not statements.  I couldn't see how this made sense.  Strawson regards the meaning of a sentence as how that sentence is (or could be) used, where statements are how sentences are used in particular cases.  Truth and falsity are properties of statements, not sentences.  Since analyticity is truth by virtue of meaning, I thought only statements could be analytic.  For we cannot say a sentence is true by virtue of its meaning, if sentences cannot be true or false to begin with.  Thus, the entire discussion seemed to me to be based on a misunderstanding of the sentence/statement distinction.

But now I think I was looking at this the wrong way.  For, if analyticity were a property of statements, then it would depend upon the particular occasion of a sentence's use.  Yet, we do not say a sentence is analytically true by virtue of the context in which it is uttered, unless we mean the rules of discourse which determine the sentence's meaning as such.  Indeed, it is by reference to the rules of discourse that we identify analyticity.  An analytic sentence is such by virtue of the meaning of its terms, and not by their use in any particular case.  If we take a Strawsonian approach to sentence meaning, we can then say that an analytic sentence is one with a meaning such that it can only express true statements.  This meaning entails the truth of whatever statement it can be used to express. 

This is how Wolfram regards analyticity, and I think it makes sense, with one qualification.  As I pointed out much earlier in this discussion, the sentence "nine is greater than seven" (let's call this sentence T) can be used to express a synthetic judgment:  namely, that one much prefers the number nine over seven.  Such a statement need not be true.  So it is not true that T can only be used to express truths.  I doubt that any natural language sentences can only be used to express true statements.

It is not that a sentence is analytically true if it can only be used to express true statements.  Rather, as I initially thought, sentences cannot be analytically true.  Only propositions can be analytically true, and propositions are neither sentences nor statements by Wolfram's account.  Two sentences express the same proposition if they have the same meaning--that is, if they have the same rules, habits, and conventions for their use.  That is, two sentences express the same proposition if they could be used in all the same ways.

The same sentence can express multiple propositions, not all of which are true by virtue of the language.  The fact that T can also mean "nine is better than seven" indicates that the same sentence has both analytic and synthetic meanings.

So my initial concern has been alleviated, I think.  There's also the issue of distinguishing between analytic and synthetic meanings.  For, how do I know the utterance of a sentence is an application of its analytic meaning, and not some other meaning?  To understand this, we need to understand what it means for the meaning of a sentence to entail that it can only be used to express true statements.  Clearly, analytic propositions cannot be used to express statements which depend on extra-linguistic factors for their truth.  Further, they cannot be used to express statements which refer to linguistic factors which are not implicated by the proposition itself.  (For there are many statements about linguistic rules which can be false.)  Analytic propositions must indicate the very linguistic rules that give them meaning, and nothing else.  To say that the use of a sentence is an application of its analytic meaning is therefore only to say that what is asserted is the rules of the language, and nothing else.  For a proposition which can only be used to express true statements is a proposition which can only be used to make its own rules explicit.

There is one other issue:  I still don't see how "The number of planets is greater than seven" (let's call this sentence S) refers to the number nine.  S expresses the same proposition as "the planets number more than seven," where the subject is "the planets," not a number.  We could express the same proposition by saying "the planets are greater than seven."  The noun phrase "the number of planets" misleads us into thinking that the number is the referent, when it is really the planets.  This is why the two statements in Quine's 'Necessity Argument' do not express the same proposition.  Thus, regardless of the strengths or weaknesses of Wolfram and Millican's responses to Quine, I do not think his Necessity Argument poses much of a threat here.  I still think I was right to point out that S does not mean T.  For the two sentences do not have the same rules and habits of use, and so do not express the same proposition.  Sentence S has no clearly analytic meaning, while T does.

I agree that Wolfram and Millican's arguments might be worth considering, even if they are not required to overcome Quine.  Though my interest here was more to do with how to interpret Strawson, and how to preserve both the sentence/statement and analytic/synthetic distinctions.  I feel content with the way this all looks, at least for the time being.  So thanks again for the help.  I needed that push to get me to look closer at what Wolfram was doing.


Regards,

Jason
Nov. 20, 2009

2009-11-22
Preserving the Sentence-Statement and Analytic-Synthetic Distinctions
Just two small clarifications of my last post. 

I wrote, "It is not that a sentence is analytically true if it can only be used to express true statements.  Rather, as I initially thought, sentences cannot be analytically true.  Only propositions can be analytically true, and propositions are neither sentences nor statements by Wolfram's account." 

That should read, "It is not that a sentence is analytic if it can only be used to express true statements.  Rather, as I initially thought, sentences cannot be analytic.  Only propositions can be analytic, and propositions are neither sentences nor statements by Wolfram's account."


I also wrote:  "The same sentence can express multiple propositions, not all of which are true by virtue of the language."

That should read:  "The same sentence can express multiple propositions, not all of which are analytic."


Sorry for any inconvenience or confusion.


Regards,

Jason
Nov 21, 2009