Analysis 50 (1):19 - 24 (1990)

João Branquinho
Universidade de Lisboa
In a review of Frege's Puzzle1, Graeme Forbes makes the claim that Salmon's account of belief might be seen, under certain conditions, as a mere notational variant of a neo-Fregean theory; and thus that such an account might be reduced to a neo-Fregean one simply by rewriting it in terms of Fregean terminology. With a view to supporting his claim, Forbes offers an outline of an account of belief which, according to him, would satisfy the following conditions: (i) it could be directly obtained from Salmon's own analysis by means of a certain set of substitutions, which presumably would not affect the essential features of Salmon's view; (ii) it could naturally be described as Fregean, in the sense that it would preserve, (at least) the spirit of Frege's doctrines, especially his fundamental intuitions about belief. Of course, the upshot of Forbes's argument is that Salmon's theory would not, at bottom, constitute a genuine alternative to a Fregean semantics for belief ascriptions. In this paper I argue to the effect that Forbes's claim is not in general sound. It seems to me that the sort of indirect argument used by Forbes - that of trying to undermine Salmon's theory by showing that it is just a version of a neo-Fregean account - does not provide someone working within a Fregean framework with an adequate strategy to counter Salmon's neo-Russellian views. It would perhaps be better to concentrate a Fregean attack on certain apparently dubious and highly controversial theses and results which are constitutive of Salmon's view, e.g. the counterintuitive character of a substantial set of consequences which follow from his theory of belief, as well as the associated revisionist stand he is forced to take towards our current patterns of speaking about belief.
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DOI 10.1093/analys/50.1.19
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Indexicality and Cognitive Significance: The Indispensability of Sense.João Branquinho - 2017 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 73 (3-4):1517-1540.

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