David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):487 - 513 (1995)
Some contemporary Russellians, defenders of the view that the semantic content of a proper name, demonstrative or indexical is simply its referent, are prepared to accept that view’s most infamous apparent consequence: that coreferential names, demonstratives, indexicals, etc. are intersubstitutable salva veritate, even in intentional contexts. Nathan Salmon and Scott Soames argue that our recalcitrant intuitions with respect to the famous apparent counterexamples are not semantic intuitions, but rather pragmatic intuitions. Strictly and literally speaking, Lois Lane believes, and even knows that Clark Kent is identical to Superman, since she believes and knows that Superman is identical to Superman. Salmon and Soames attempt to soften our reaction to this shocker by allowing that it is typically misleading to utter the sentence ‘Lois Lane knows that Clark Kent is identical to Superman’, since it pragmatically implicates, without semantically entailing, that Lois Lane would accept the sentence ‘Clark Kent is identical to Superman’. Our compulsive tendency to claim that ‘Lois Lane knows that Clark Kent is Superman’ is false, rather than merely misleading, is due to a confusion between semantics and pragmatics, between truth conditions and conditions of appropriateness of utterance.1 It is probably fair to say that the common reaction to this move in defense of Russellianism is negative. Mark Richard says the following.
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