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Abstract

Kripke's puzzle is an old and familiar story. It was put forward in Kripke's 'A puzzle about Belief.'[1979] But even today it still has such a charm that people are drawn to it time and time again. In this paper I shall use his puzzle as the stepping stone for developing a new description theory of proper names. Kripke tries to defend his direct reference theory against the charge that it cannot explain the role of proper names in an epistemic context (such as belief, thought, etc.). There are many famous puzzles involving substitution salva veritate for different names of the same referent, and the description theory can easily dissolve them by suggesting that different names have different senses. These puzzles were considered to be defeating the direct reference theory of proper names. Kripke thus tries to demonstrate a similar puzzle that does not involve different names, and thus does not involve different senses. Using his principle of disquotation and principle of translation,1 Kripke presents a puzzle which involves a Frenchman Pierre who is attributed the following set of beliefs: (1) Pierre believes that London is pretty. (2) Pierre believes that London is not pretty. According to Kripke, the two belief reports attribute a contradiction to Pierre, even though Pierre himself cannot be interpreted as being inconsistent.2 Kripke also discusses another puzzle which invokes only the principle of disquotation and no translation is involved. This is the example of Peter’s two beliefs concerning the politician/musician Paderewski. In this case, we get a similar set of contradictory belief reports: (3) Peter believes that Paderewski has musical talent. (4) Peter believes that Paderewski has no musical talent.

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JeeLoo Liu
California State University, Fullerton

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