David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 166 (2):305-327 (2013)
Speakers often judge the sentence “Lois Lane believes that Superman flies” to be true and the sentence “Lois Lane believes that Clark Kent flies” to be false. If Millianism is true, however, these sentences express the very same proposition and must therefore have same truth value. “Pragmatic” Millians like Salmon and Soames have tried to explain speakers’ “anti-substitution intuitions” by claiming that the two sentences are routinely used to pragmatically convey different propositions which do have different truth values. “Non-Pragmatic” Millians like Braun, on the other hand, have argued that the Millian should not appeal to pragmatics and opt instead for a purely psychological explanation. I will present two objections against Non-Pragmatic Millianism. The first one is that the view cannot account for the intuitions of speakers who accept the identity sentence “Superman is Clark Kent”: applying a psychological account in this case, I will argue, would yield wrong predictions about speakers who resist substitution with simple sentences. I will then consider a possible response from the non-pragmatic Millian and show that the response would in fact require an appeal to pragmatics. My conclusion will be that Braun’s psychological explanation of anti-substitution intuitions is untenable, and that the Millian is therefore forced to adopt a pragmatic account. My second objection is that Non-Pragmatic Millianism cannot account for the role that certain commonsense intentional generalizations play in the explanation of behavior. I will consider a reply offered by Braun and argue that it still leaves out a large class of important generalizations. My conclusion will be that Braun’s non-pragmatic strategy fails, and that the Millian will again be forced to adopt a pragmatic account of intentional generalizations if he wants to respond to the objection. In light of my two objections, my general conclusion will be that non-pragmatic versions of Millianism should be rejected. This has an important consequence: if Millianism is true, then some pragmatic Millian account must be correct. It follows that, if standard objections against pragmatic accounts succeed, then Millianism must be rejected altogether
|Keywords||Millianism Pragmatics Psychological explanation Anti-substitution intuitions Intentional generalizations Ceteris paribus generalizations Explanation of behavior|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Nathan U. Salmon (1986). Frege's Puzzle. Ridgeview.
Mark Crimmins & John Perry (1989). The Prince and the Phone Booth: Reporting Puzzling Beliefs. Journal of Philosophy 86 (12):685 - 711.
Mark E. Richard (1990). Propositional Attitudes: An Essay on Thoughts and How We Ascribe Them. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Leo Iacono (2008). Beyond Millianism. Philosophical Studies 140 (3):423 - 436.
Arvid Båve (2008). A Pragmatic Defense of Millianism. Philosophical Studies 138 (2):271 - 289.
D. Sosa (2013). Profligate or Abstemious Millianism. Analysis 73 (1):51-56.
Jeff Speaks (2011). Frege's Puzzle and Descriptive Enrichment. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):267-282.
Peter Achinstein (1984). The Pragmatic Character of Explanation. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:275 - 292.
Bryan Frances (2002). A Test for Theories of Belief Ascription. Analysis 62 (2):116–125.
Max Deutsch (2006). The One and Only Argument for Radical Millianism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (3):427-445.
Peter J. Graham (1999). Defending Millianism. Mind 108 (431):555-561.
Stefano Predelli (2004). The Price of Innocent Millianism. Erkenntnis 60 (3):335-356.
Theodore Sider (1995). Three Problems for Richard's Theory of Belief Ascription. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):487 - 513.
David Braun (2005). Empty Names, Fictional Names, Mythical Names. Noûs 39 (4):596–631.
Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder (2014). Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
Gualtiero Piccinini & Sam Scott (2010). Recovering What Is Said With Empty Names. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (2):239-273.
Susan Dwyer & Paul M. Pietroski (1996). Believing in Language. Philosophy of Science 63 (3):338-373.
Added to index2012-10-18
Total downloads47 ( #77,751 of 1,780,830 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #166,218 of 1,780,830 )
How can I increase my downloads?