Does Semantic Relationism Solve Frege’s Puzzle?

Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (1):97-118 (2017)

Authors
Bryan Pickel
University of Edinburgh
Brian Rabern
University of Edinburgh
Abstract
In a series of recent works, Kit Fine, 605–631, 2003, 2007) has sketched a novel solution to Frege’s puzzle. Radically departing from previous solutions, Fine argues that Frege’s puzzle forces us to reject compositionality. In this paper we first provide an explicit formalization of the relational semantics for first-order logic suggested, but only briefly sketched, by Fine. We then show why the relational semantics alone is technically inadequate, forcing Fine to enrich the syntax with a coordination schema. Given this enrichment, we argue, that that the semantics is compositional. We then examine the deep consequences of this result for Fine’s proposed solution to Frege’s puzzle. We argue that Fine has mis-diagnosed his own solution–his attempted solution does not deny compositionality. The correct characterization of Fine’s solution fits him more comfortably among familiar solutions to the puzzle.
Keywords Frege's puzzle  proper names  Compositionality  Semantic relationism  variables
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DOI 10.1007/s10992-016-9420-z
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References found in this work BETA

Semantic Relationism.Kit Fine - 2007 - Blackwell.
Meaning and Necessity.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - University of Chicago Press.
Dynamic Predicate Logic.Jeroen Groenendijk & Martin Stokhof - 1991 - Linguistics and Philosophy 14 (1):39-100.
On Sense and Intension.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - Philosophical Perspectives 16 (s16):135-82.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Antinomy of the Variable: A Tarskian Resolution.Bryan Pickel & Brian Rabern - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (3):137-170.
Relational Approaches to Frege's Puzzle.Aidan Gray - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12429.
Frege's Puzzle and Semantic Relationism.Surajit Barua - 2019 - Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 36 (1):197-210.

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