Rethinking Quine's Argument on the Collapse of Modal Distinctions

Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (2):276-294 (1997)
Abstract
This paper examines and discusses an argument for the collapse of modal distincions offered by Quine in "Reference and Modality" and in Word and Object that relies exclusively on a version of the Principle of Substitution. It is argued that the argument does not affect its historical targets: Carnap's treatment of modality, presented in Meaning and Necessity, and Church's Logic of Sense and Denotation, developed by Kaplan; nor does it affect a treatment of modality inspired in Frege's treatment of oblique contexts. It is argued, nevertheless, that the immunity of those systems to Quine's argument depends on the success of their rejection of the Principle of Substitution presupposed by Quine
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DOI 10.1305/ndjfl/1039724891
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