Epistemic Two-Dimensionalism and Arguments from Epistemic Misclassification

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):375-389 (2013)
Abstract
According to Epistemic Two-Dimensional Semantics (E2D), expressions have a counterfactual intension and an epistemic intension. Epistemic intensions reflect cognitive significance such that sentences with necessary epistemic intensions are a priori. We defend E2D against an influential line of criticism: arguments from epistemic misclassification. We focus in particular on the arguments of Speaks [2010] and Schroeter [2005]. Such arguments conclude that E2D is mistaken from (i) the claim that E2D is committed to classifying certain sentences as a priori, and (ii) the claim that such sentences are a posteriori. We aim to show that these arguments are unsuccessful as (i) and (ii) undercut each other. One must distinguish the general framework of E2D from a specific implementation of it. The framework is flexible enough to avoid commitment to the apriority of any particular sentence; only specific implementations are so committed. Arguments from epistemic misclassification are therefore better understood as arguments for favouring one implementation of E2D over another, rather than as refutations of E2D.
Keywords Two-Dimensional Semantics  Epistemic Argument  A priori  Descriptivism
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    References found in this work BETA
    Frank Jackson (1998). Reference and Description Revisited. Philosophical Perspectives 12 (S12):201-218.
    Frederick W. Kroon (1987). Causal Descriptivism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 65 (1):1 – 17.
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    Laura Schroeter (2005). Considering Empty Worlds as Actual. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (3):331-347.

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    Jeff Speaks (2010). Epistemic Two-Dimensionalism and the Epistemic Argument. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):59 – 78.
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    Hud Hudson (2000). Universalism, Four Dimensionalism, and Vagueness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (3):547-560.
    J. Angelo Corlett (2008). Epistemic Responsibility. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (2):179 – 200.
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