Plenitudinous Russellianism, ‘That’-Clauses, and the Principle of Substitutivity

Dialogue:1-24 (forthcoming)
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ABSTRACT Recently, in a series of papers, Joshua Spencer has introduced, defended, and developed a modified version of Neo-Russellianism, namely Plenitudinous Russellianism, according to which there are structurally identical but numerically distinct singular Russellian propositions. PR claims to provide novel semantic solutions to all the major problems that NR faces with no radical revision in NR. In this paper, I introduce a semantic puzzle for PR: the view leads to the violation of the principle of substitutivity of co-referential proper names within simple ‘that’-clauses. I consider different responses to my argument, and show that none of them is fully satisfactory for the Russellian. I conclude that PR needs to depart from NR more radically. RÉSUMÉ Récemment, Joshua Spencer a publié une série d'articles où il expose, défend et développe une version modifiée du Néo-Russellianisme, appelée Russellianisme de plénitude, selon laquelle il y a des propositions Russelliennes singulières structurellement identiques mais numériquement distinctes. Ce Russellianisme de plénitude prétend apporter de nouvelles solutions sémantiques à tous les problèmes majeurs auxquels le NR se confronte, sans pour autant procéder à une révision radicale du NR. Dans cet article, je mettrai le PR face à un casse-tête : cette vision mène à la violation du principe de substitution des noms propres co-référentiels au sein des subordonnées complétives simples. Je tâcherai de considérer différentes réponses à mon argument et de montrer qu'aucune d'entre elles n'est pleinement satisfaisante pour un Russellien. Je vais conclure que le PR devrait s’écarter plus radicalement du NR.



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Seyed N. Mousavian
Loyola University, Chicago

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Necessary Existents.Timothy Williamson - 2002 - In A. O'Hear (ed.), Logic, thought, and language. Cambridge University Press. pp. 233-251.
Rethinking Language, Mind, and Meaning.Scott Soames - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2529-2532.

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