A solution for Russellians to a puzzle about belief

Analysis 64 (3):223-29 (2004)
Abstract
According to Russellianism (or Millianism), the two sentences ‘Ralph believes George Eliot is a novelist’ and ‘Ralph believes Mary Ann Evans is a novelist’ cannot diverge in truth-value, since they express the same proposition. The problem for the Russellian (or Millian) is that a puzzle of Kaplan’s seems to show that they can diverge in truth-value and that therefore, since the Russellian holds that they express the same proposition, the Russellian view is contradictory. I argue that the standard Russellian appeal to “ways of thinking” or “propositional guises” is not necessary to solve the puzzle. Rather than this retrograde concession to Fregeanism, appeal should be made to second-order belief. The puzzle is solved, and the contradiction avoided, by maintaining that both sentences are indeed true in addition to the sentence ‘Ralph (mistakenly) believes that he does not believe Mary Ann Evans/George Eliot is a novelist’.
Keywords Russellianism  Millianism  second-order belief  belief puzzle
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DOI 10.1111/j.0003-2638.2004.00489.x
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References found in this work BETA
The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Quantifying In.David Kaplan - 1968 - Synthese 19 (1-2):178-214.
Understanding Belief Reports.David Braun - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (4):555-595.

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Citations of this work BETA
Suspended Judgment.Jane Friedman - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):165-181.
Question‐Directed Attitudes.Jane Friedman - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):145-174.
Pure Russellianism.Sean Crawford - 2004 - Philosophical Papers 33 (2):171-202.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

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