Noûs 49 (2):333-356 (2015)

Authors
Bryan Pickel
University of Glasgow
Abstract
The phenomenon of quantification into attitude ascriptions has haunted broadly Fregean views, according to which co-referential proper names are not always substitutable salva veritate in attitude ascriptions. Opponents of Fregeanism argue that a belief ascription containing a proper name such as ‘Michael believes that Lindsay is charitable’ is equivalent to a quantified sentence such as ‘there is someone such that Michael believes that she is charitable, and that person is Lindsay’. They conclude that the semantic contribution of a name such as ‘Lindsay’ is the same as the semantic contribution of a variable under an assignment, which these opponents suggest is merely the object assigned to that variable. However, renewed interest in variables suggests that they make a more complicated contribution to the semantic processing of sentences that contain them. In particular, a variable contributes both an assignment-unsaturated and an assignment-saturated semantic value. I use this dual role of the semantics of variables to develop a response to the argument from quantifying in. I take as my point of departure Cumming's () view that an attitude ascription relates the subject of an attitude to the assignment-unsaturated semantic value of an open sentence. I argue that this approach fails. I propose an alternative, according to which the truth of a belief ascription depends on both the assignment-saturated and the assignment-unsaturated semantic value of the open sentence in its that-clause. This approach reverses standard assumptions concerning the relation between quantification and substitution
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DOI 10.1111/nous.12044
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References found in this work BETA

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press.

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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.
Binding Bound Variables in Epistemic Contexts.Brian Rabern - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (5-6):533-563.
Propositional Attitude Reports.Thomas McKay - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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