Alethic Statements Are Not Intensional

Teorema 25 (3):53-61 (2006)
Abstract
According to the standard view, alethic (or modal) statements are intensional in that the Principle of Substitution (PS) fails for them -- e.g. substituting 'nine' in "Necessarily, nine is composite" with the co-referring 'the number of planets' turns this statement from true to false. It is argued in the paper that we could avoid ascribing intensionality to alethic statements altogether by separating between singular and functional uses of definite descriptions: on the singular use the description given above amounts to 'the actual number of planets', which is salva veritate substitutable to 'nine' in all alethic statements; on the functional use, in turn, that description is really a function from possible worlds to numbers, and thus the Principle of Substitution is not violated in this case either, since such a function cannot be held to be co-referential with 'nine'.
Keywords modal logic  intensionality
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