Michael Beaney has argued that Frege’s characterization of the senses of names as modes of presentation early in “On Sense and Reference” is problematic, but the problem disappears if we use the notion of modes of determination as that was deployed in the Begriffsschrift to characterize senses. It is argued that there is no philosophically interesting difference between the two notions, and no problem posed by modes of presentation that would be resolved by appeal to modes of determination.
The immediate purpose of this note is to provide counterexamples to François Recanati’s claim in Direct Reference that descriptive names (a name whose reference is fixed by an attributive definite description) are created with the expectation that we will be able to think of the referent nondescriptively at some point in the future. The larger issue is how to reconcile the existence of descriptive names with the theoretical commitments Recanati takes direct reference to have. The point of the claim about (...) the expectation of future knowledge of the referent is to make it plausible that uses of descriptive names are not literal, since a literal use ought to express a singular proposition rather than one involving a descriptive mode of presentation; it is argued that this route to reconciliation will not work. (shrink)
In Frege’s Puzzle, Nathan Salmon takes it to be obvious that the fact that names such as ‘Hesperus’ and ‘Phosphorus’ are coreferential is purely a matter of arbitrary linguistic convention, while the fact that Hesperus is Phosphorus is by no means a conventional matter. Salmon also takes these points to be ones to which Frege appeals in the opening paragraph of “On Sense and Reference,” and hence finds it ironic that these points undercut the theory of sense that Frege develops (...) in that paper. It is argued that the thesis that the coreferentiality of a pair of proper names is purely a matter of arbitrary linguistic convention is inconsistent with any plausible theory of reference. Salmon’s reading of Frege’s argument is also called into question. (shrink)
This paper contests Lynne Rudder Baker's claim to have shown that eliminative materialism is bound to fail on purely conceptual grounds. It is argued that Baker's position depends on knowing that certain developments in science cannot occur, and that we cannot know that this is so. Consequently, the sort of argument Baker provides is question-begging. For similar reasons, the confidence that the proponents of eliminative materialism have in it is misplaced.
Wittgenstein initially endorsed but then abandoned, by the time of “Some Remarks on Logical Form”, the view that elementary propositions are logically independent. In this paper it is argued that the doctrine of logical independence is in fact inconsistent with the intuitions and examples that motivated the picture theory of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. This leaves the question of whether the logical independence of elementary propositions can be reconciled with the theory itself; the paper explores some interpretations of the early Wittgenstein (...) with which this is, and others with which it is not, consistent. (shrink)
Peter Klein claims to have explicated the notion of relative certainty and shown how it is related to the notion of absolute evidential certainty in his book Certainty. I argue that he has not succeeded at this because the account of relative certainty provided only applies to a subset of the pairs of propositions about which we make judgments of relative certainty.
G h merrill's recent attempt to sort out various versions of scientific realism and to impugn well-Known anti-Realist arguments turns crucially on carnap's distinction between internal and external statements of existence. Focusing on carnap's distinction, And the notion of a framework which underlies it, I attempt to show that carnap's work is far too unclear and unpersuasive to underwrite this effort.
A popular answer to the question of what, In addition to what a sentence means, Determines what a speaker who utters that sentence says, Is the context in which it is uttered. While this answer is often not developed in any detail, Paul ziff in "what is said" attempts to specify just what contextual features are relevant and how they operate. This paper argues that the factors ziff offers are in fact irrelevant to the determination of what is said. The (...) general outline of an alternative approach is briefly sketched. (shrink)