In D. Schott (ed.), Frege: Freund(e) und Feind(e). Berlin: Logos. pp. 161-175 (2015)

Jan G. Michel
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
In this paper, I mainly pursue the following two goals: on the one hand, I want to show how a central Fregean insight is tried to be captured within a two-dimensional strategy. On the other hand, I want to show that, in the light of Saul Kripke’s arguments against descriptivism, this strategy is faced with a fundamental problem. I proceed in four steps: in a first step, I bring together the passages that contain a central Fregean insight as a source of inspiration for a two-dimensional reconstruction and that suggest a descriptivist reading of Frege’s view. In a second step, I shortly present Kripke’s threefold argumentation against two versions of descriptivism, which is also the basis for Kripke’s view that proper names are rigid designators. In a third step, I explain the basic idea of a Frege-inspired two-dimensional strategy which is used to reconcile theories of definite descriptions with theories of rigid designation and which is sometimes characterized as ‘neo-descriptivism’. Since the two-dimensional strategy is dependent on rigidified definite descriptions, I argue, in a fourth step, that, in the light of Kripke’s epistemological and semantic arguments, the two-dimensional strategy is problematic and untenable – though it is, nevertheless, motivated by Kripke’s modal argument.
Keywords Gottlob Frege  neo-descriptivism  2D semantics  Kripke  Frege
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