David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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I will focus on what seems to be a problem for Kripke’s position with respect to certain necessary a posteriori truths and true negative existentials. I shall tentatively suggest that within Kripke’s work a solution to the problem in question can be found provided one is willing to distinguish statements from propositions
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In 1976 Fitch proposed a tight argument against Kripkean a posteriori necessary truths. He argued that if 'Hesperus' and 'Phosphorus' are rigid designators with no descriptive content, then 'Hesperus is Phosphorus' and 'Phosphorus is Phosphorus' express the same proposition, one we can know a priori.
In this 2004 paper he tries to rescue Kripke's position by adding a new kind of entities in addition to sentences and propositions, namely, statements. He writes on p. 302:
"A statement is an interpreted sentence (type). The difference, for example, between the sentence “You are a philosopher” and the statement that you are a philosopher is that the former is uninterpreted and could mean (in some language) any number of things. The statement expressed by our use of the sentence given our interpretation according to the rules of our language is something like the indicated person has the property of being a philosopher. The proposition asserted by the utterance of the sentence in a given cont ... (read more)