Evans on identification-freedom

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (4):605-617 (2007)
Gareth Evans’ account of Identifi cation-freedom (IF), which he devel- ops in Chapters 6 and 7 of The Varieties of Reference (henceforth VR) is almost universally misunderstood.1 Howell is guilty of this same mis- understanding, and as a result claims to have mounted a criticism of Evans, when in fact he has not. I will take the occasion of Howell’s oth- erwise insightful article to clarify Evans’ position. Note that the bulk of Howell’s analysis is targeted at the phenomenon known as immunity to error through misidentifi cation (IEM), which is related to but not (necessarily) identical to IF. Therefore, the accuracy of Howell’s treat- ment of Evans in particular is tangential to the main thrust of his article. My exegesis of Evans’ account — like any non-trivial exegesis — goes somewhat beyond anything Evans overtly says. That Evans did not ex- plicitly put the pieces together in the way I suggest they fi t no doubt contributes to the widespread misunderstanding of his views. But I am.
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