This paper is about the meaning and function of identitystatements involving proper names. There are two prominent views on this topic, according to which identitystatements ascribe a relation: the object-view, on which identitystatements ascribe a relation borne by all objects to themselves, and the name-view, on which an identity statement 'a is b' says that the names 'a' and 'b' codesignate. The object- and name-views may seem to exhaust the field. (...) I make a case for treating identitystatements as sui generis instead of attempting to explain them by means of the idea that they ascribe a relation. My contention is that once we do this, no analysis is required. -/- I do not wish to insist that we stop saying that identitystatements ascribe a relation. The point is that there is a fundamental disanalogy between identitystatements and other two-termed statements which we overlook to our peril. This will be seen to parallel the more recognized disanalogy between existence statements and other one-termed statements. One way of registering the fundamental disanalogy is to say that identitystatements are not relational, but this is not essential. Following my negative arguments in section 2, I employ some simple diagrammatical models in section 3 to exhibit the fundamental disanalogy. In a final section I respond to some possible objections which may be raised against this kind of approach. (shrink)
The thesis that the necessary and the a priori are extensionally equivalent consists of two independent claims: 1) All a priori truths are necessary and 2) all necessary truths are a priori. In Naming and Necessity1 Saul A. Kripke gives examples of necessary but a posteriori truths, so he disagrees with the second leg of the thesis.2 His examples are of two types; on the one hand statements involving essential properties and on the other hand true identity (...) class='Hi'>statements. My concern will be with examples of the second type and whether they refute (2). (2), however, is ambiguous and can mean one of three things. (shrink)
The view that scientific reduction succeeds by establishing property identities is challenged. it is argued that, instead of identitystatements making reductions successful, the fact that a reduction is successful makes the identitystatements possible. the argument proceeds first by showing that an explanatory asymmetry is generated by statements expressing property identities, second by locating the source of the asymmetry in a "generative relation" that obtains between the two properties. it is then argued that reduction (...) succeeds only if the reducing theory embodies a mechanism which accounts for such a generative relation. since this view of reduction is incompatible with the traditional view, an alternate account is outlined. (shrink)
We rely on a recent puzzle by Alex Blum to offer a new argument for the old Fitch’s thesis that what we learn a posteriori in Kripkean identitystatements like ‘Tully is Cicero’ is contingent and what is not contingent in such statements is analytical, hence hardly a posteriori.
This article is aimed to rephrase and critique the arguments presented by Joseph LaPorte about the truth of theoretical identitystatements in natural sciences. LaPorte is classified as an essentialist who accepts the real kinds, but he denies the essence of the kinds to be discovered. His arguments are based on the vagueness of the terms of kinds. In his view while science progress we convention what is related to the kinds. I evaluate LaPorte's arguments and show they (...) can be applied only for the border terms in scientific theories and so the generalization of the claim is not defensible. (shrink)
A highly contentious issue in recent philosophy of logic has been the question of whether there can be contingently true identitystatements. In this paper I want to investigate a possible loop-hole in the standard argument of the necessitarians (i.e., those who maintain that any true identity statement is necessarily true).
This paper challenges a popular thesis which we call the explanatory primitiveness thesis (for short, EPT), namely, the thesis that identities leave no logical space wherein explanatory questions may be formulated and explanatory gaps may reside. We argue that while EPT is, in all likelihood, flawless when the relevant domain consists of identitystatements flanked by proper names of individuals it is a mistake to hold that the thesis generalizes to cover all identitystatements. In particular, (...) we argue that EPT fails decisively with respect to an important class of identitystatements, viz., those in which natural kinds are identified across different theoretical levels (i.e., the so-called inter-level type-identities). If correct, our result shows EPT to be much more limited in scope than is usually supposed. Moreover, and perhaps more significantly, it shows that there is no inherent absurdity in the idea that certain type-identitystatements, in particular psychophysical type-identitystatements, suffer from an explanatory gap. (shrink)
En este articulo relaciono dos asuntos que no se relacionan comunmente en la literatura sobre Frege: el argumento de Frege sobre la interpretacion de las oraciones de identidad y su problema de referirse a las funciones. Primero expongo el argumento y concluyo que es plausible. Luego caracterizo las relaciones semanticas que el argumento le permite introducir. A continuacion trato el problema antes mencionado y muestro corno afecta a la semantica de Frege: esas relaciones semanticas se vuelven innominables y, por tanto, (...) su seolantica resulta ser inexpresable. Finalmente considero una solucion posible a este probierna.In this paper, I relate two items not commonly related in the literature on Frege: Frege’s argument on the interpretation of identitystatements and his problem of referring to functions. First, I expound the argument and conclude that it is sound. Second, I characterize the semantical relations which the argument allows him to introduce. In what follows, I deal with the above mentioned problem and show how it affects Frege’s semantics: those semantical relations become unnameable and, therefore, his semantics turns out to be unexpressible. I consider a possible solution of this problem. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that viewing Frege’s puzzle through a semantic lens results in the rejection of solutions to it on irrelevant grounds. As a result, I develop a solution to it that rests on a non-semantic sense of context-sensitivity. And I apply this picture to Frege’s puzzle when it arises through the use of identitystatements designed to establish that distinct speakers are talking about the same thing.
This theory of identitystatements is extremely implausible. However, I hope to show that it is in fact Fred Kroon’s theory, and that he has some interesting arguments for it. On the other hand, I do not think the arguments succeed, and I think the theory really is as implausible as it sounds. In this paper I argue that Kroon is wrong about the evidence he claims supports his view, and that as an account of what is conveyed (...) by speakers who utter identitystatements, it ought to be rejected. (shrink)
Recent legal rulings concerning the status of advance statements have raised interest in the topic but failed to provide any definitive general guidelines for their enforcement. I examine arguments used to justify the moral authority of such statements. The fundamental ethical issue I am concerned with is how accounts of personal identity underpin our account of moral authority through the connection between personal identity and autonomy. I focus on how recent Animalist accounts of personal identity (...) initially appear to provide a sound basis for extending the moral autonomy of an individual - and hence their autonomous wishes expressed through an advance directive - past the point of severe psychological decline. I argue that neither the traditional psychological account nor the more recent Animalist account of personal identity manage to provide a sufficient basis for extending our moral autonomy past the point of incapacity or incompetence. I briefly explore how analogies to similar areas in law designed to facilitate autonomous decision, such as wills and trusts, provide at best only very limited scope for an alternative justification for granting advance statements any legal or moral authority. I conclude that whilst advance statements play a useful role in formulating what treatment is in a patient’s best interests, such statements do not ultimately have sufficient moral force to take precedence over paternalistic best interest judgements concerning an individual’s care or treatment. (shrink)
An identity statement flanked on both sides with proper names is necessarily true, Saul Kripke thinks, if it's true at all. Thus, contrary to the received view – or at least what was, prior to Kripke, the received view – a statement like(A) Hesperus is Phosphorus.
*I am very pleased to be able to contribute this paper to a festschrift for Andrea Bonomi. This is not however, the paper I really wanted to write; I would have much rather have contributed a paper comparing the pianistic styles of Lennie Tristano and Bill Evans, which I think Andrea would have found much more fascinating than an essay devoted to an understanding of Frege’s thinking. But I do not totally despair. Andrea’s first paper published in English was entitled (...) “On the Concept of Logical Form in Frege,” so perhaps I can maintain some hope that this paper will appeal to lingering interests that Andrea wrote of in the past. I would like to thank Johannes Brandl, Ben Caplan, Bill Demopoulos, Bob Fiengo, Mark Kalderon, Patricia Marino, Gila Sher, Michael Thau, Dan Vest and especially Aldo Antonelli for very helpful discussion. (shrink)
In formulating the puzzle about cognitive significance in ‘Über Sinn und Bedeutung’, Frege rejects the approach he suggested in the Begriffsschrift on the ground that if the utterance of a sentence of the form a = b is understood as ‘a’ and ‘b’ referring to the same object we lose the subject matter. In this note, we will show how Frege’s concerns can be understood and circumvented.
THIS PAPER DISCUSSES TWO THINGS. FIRST, STRAWSON'S EXPLANATION IN "ON REFERRING" ("MIND," 1950) WHY TWO USES OF SENTENCES OF THE FORM NN=NN MUST DIFFER FROM THOSE OF THE FORM NN=THE F, WHERE 'NN' AND 'THE F' ARE PROPER NAMES AND DEFINITE DESCRIPTIONS, RESPECTIVELY. IT IS SHOWN THAT HIS ACCOUNT OF THE MATTER HAS UNACCEPTABLE CONSEQUENCES. SECONDLY, IT IS DEMONSTRATED THAT HIS EXPLANATION OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SENTENCES OF THE FORM NN=THE F AND THOSE OF THE FORM NN IS (AN) F (...) IS EVEN LESS SATISFACTORY. STRAWSON'S CONFUSIONS HERE DERIVE CHIEFLY FROM HIS NOTION OF A 'PRESUPPOSITION'. (shrink)
Philosophers who accept tropes generally agree that tropes act as the objects of reference of nominalizations of adjectives, such as 'Socrates’ wisdom' or 'the beauty of the landscape'. This paper argues that tropes play a further important role in the semantics of natural language, namely in the semantics of bare demonstratives like 'this' and 'that' in what in linguistics is called identificational sentences.