Unanswerable questions for everyone: reply to Inan

Philosophical Studies 161 (2):263-271 (2012)
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Abstract

Millianism is the familiar view that some expressions, such as proper names, contribute only their referent to the semantic content of sentences in which they occur. Inan (Philosophical Studies 2010) has recently argued that the Millian is committed to the following odd conclusion: There may be questions that he is able to grasp but that he cannot answer, either affirmatively, negatively, or with a simple I don’t know . The Millian is indeed committed to this conclusion. But we intend to show that Inan’s argument generalizes, so that everyone who accepts certain largely uncontroversial principles is committed to the odd conclusion that there may be questions that are graspable but not answerable.

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Philip Atkins
Temple University

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References found in this work

Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Edited by Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel.
Frege’s Puzzle (2nd edition).Nathan U. Salmon - 1986 - Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview Publishing Company.
Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
Truth and other enigmas.Michael Dummett - 1978 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 2003 - In John Heil (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.

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