Plantinga on the de dicto/de re distinction

Grazer Philosophische Studien 27 (1):49-55 (1986)
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Abstract

Over the past fifteen years or so the distinction between de diclo and de re modality has been revived and pressed into service in a number of areas of philosophy. In "Plantinga on the De Dicto/De Re Distinction" it is argued that one prominent argument/persuasion advanced for making the distinction in the first place is unsound. The argument for making the distinction attempts to elicit rational acceptance of it by clearly illustrating it with a proposition that is false when modal-fied de dicto, true when modalfied de re. However, i f the example (and ones like it) is critically scrutinized, and the distinction between referential and attributive uses of definite descriptions carefully adhered to, doubt can be cast on whether our intuitions regarding the case are really, at base, intuitions about a different and distinct form of modality, de re modality

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Michael J. Wreen
Marquette University

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