Open questions and the manifest image

The essay argues that, on their usual metalinguistic reconstructions, the open question argument and Frege’s puzzle are variants of the same argument. Each are arguments to a conclusion about a difference in meaning; each deploy compositionality as a premise; and each deploy a premise linking epistemic features of sentences with their meaning (which, given certain meaning-platonist assumptions, can be interpreted as a universal instantiation of Leibniz’s law). Given these parallels, each is sound just in case the other is. They are, in fact, unsound. The essay first argues that reformulations of these arguments directly in terms of Leibniz’s law are unsound and then that subarguments of the metalinguistic versions are unsound for structurally similar reasons. Finally, given how the theory/observation distinction is deployed in linguistic practice, the meaning-platonist assumptions are shown to be optional.
Keywords open question argument   Frege's puzzle   metaethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2004.tb00341.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,974
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Douglas Edwards (2013). The Eligibility of Ethical Naturalism. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):1-18.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

291 ( #2,843 of 1,725,806 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

226 ( #579 of 1,725,806 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.