De jure coreference and transitivity

Following Kit Fine (2007), we can say that the de jure pair represent the referent as the same while the second one does not do so. There are roughly three ways of capturing this difference. One could say that de jure coreference between two expression occurrences happen because (a) the occurrences have identical meanings, (b) they have identical syntactic properties, or (c) they enter into a semantic relation not grounded in identity of meaning or syntax. In what follows, I give some reason to think that de jure coreference is not a transitive relation. As a consequence, we can rule out (a) and (b) just on these grounds alone (since identity is a transitive relation). (c) then looks promising. I argue that this gives further support for a relationist semantics along the lines of what Kit Fine has proposed.
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