Noûs 49 (2):333-356 (2015)

Bryan Pickel
University of Glasgow
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
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/nous.12044
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,339
Through your library

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.

View all 43 references / Add more references

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.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Counterfactual Attitudes and Multi-Centered Worlds.Dilip Ninan - 2012 - Semantics and Pragmatics 5 (5):1-57.
Variabilism.Samuel Cumming - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (4):525-554.
Believing in Words.Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever - 2001 - Synthese 127 (3):279 - 301.
De Se Attitudes: Ascription and Communication.Dilip Ninan - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (7):551-567.
Puzzling Pairs.Michael Nelson - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 108 (1-2):109 - 119.
Descriptions as Variables.Paolo Santorio - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):41-59.


Added to PP index

Total views
94 ( #114,438 of 2,448,758 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #301,105 of 2,448,758 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes