The paper argues that philosophers commonly misidentify the substitutivity principle involved in Russell’s puzzle about substitutivity in “On Denoting”. This matters because when that principle is properly identified the puzzle becomes considerably sharper and more interesting than it is often taken to be. This article describes both the puzzle itself and Russell's solution to it, which involves resources beyond the theory of descriptions. It then explores the epistemological and metaphysical consequences of that solution. One such consequence, it argues, (...) is that Russell must abandon his commitment to propositions. (shrink)
In this essay, I propose an analysis of Quine’s example ’Giorgione was so-called because of his size’, grounded on the idea of an obstinate demonstrative. In the first sections, I discuss the advantages and drawbacks of the demonstrative and logophoric treatments of ‘so called’, I highlight certain parallelisms with Davidson’s paratactic view of quotation, and I introduce independent considerations in favor of the idea of an obstinate demonstrative. In the second half of my essay, I apply this notion to Quine’s (...) example, and I discuss its consequences with respect to the principle of substitutivity of coreferential singular terms. (shrink)
Millianism is reasonable; that is, it is reasonable to think that all there is to the semantic value of a proper name is its referent. But Millianism appears to be undermined by the falsehood of Substitutivity, the principle that interchanging coreferential proper names in an intentional context cannot change the truth value of the resulting belief report. Mary might be perfectly rational in assenting to ‘Twain was a great writer’ as well as ‘Clemens was not a great writer’. Her (...) confusion does not seem to preclude her from assenting to those sentences in a normal, understanding manner. That is, Assent-for-Mary is true: Mary can knowingly assent to ‘Twain was a great writer’ and ‘Clemens was not a great writer’. By Disquotation—the rough principle that if in ordinary circumstances one assents to “P”, then one believes that P—Mary believes that Twain was a great writer and she believes that it’s not the case that Clemens was a great writer. If Substitutivity were true, then since ‘Mary believes that Twain was a great writer’ is true, ‘Mary believes that Clemens was a great writer’ would have to be true too. But then Mary would amount to a refutation of the plausible principle Consistency that, roughly put, no rational adult can have occurrently held and reflectively considered and compared contradictory beliefs. Since Disquotation, Assent-for-Mary, and Consistency are true, Substitutivity has to go. (shrink)
It is shown that the coherence of de re belief ascriptions is doubtful in view of certain plausible principles. Subsequently, it is argued, the standard argument against substitutivity in de dicto ascriptions loses some of its power. Also, some possible reactions to these results are considered.
It is shown that typical arguments from intensionality against the Principle of Indiscernibility of Identicals (InI) misconstrue this principle, confusing it with the Principle of Substitution (PS). It has been proposed that Leibniz, in his statements like, "If A is the same as B, then A can be substituted for B, salva veritate, in any proposition", is not applying InI to objects nor PS to signs, but is talking about substitution of concepts in propositions, or applying InI to concepts. It (...) is shown in the paper that since Leibniz holds that there are exceptions to the principle thus stated, either the proposal in question is misguided, or else Leibniz is mistaken in thinking that there are such exceptions. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss two influential analyzes of belief reports, John Perry's and Marc Crimmins's "Contextual View," and Scott Soames's and Nathan Salmon's "Radical View". It is often alleged that the "Contextual View," unlike the "Radical View," is able to account for the apparent invalidity of arguments involving the substitution of coreferential names. I counter that the "Contextual View" and the "Radical View" are on a par with the respect to our intuitions regarding failures of substitutivity.
The following Principle of Substitutivity holds for the former, but not for the latter sentence: (PS) The truth value of (the proposition expressed by) a sentence that contains an occurrence of t1 remains constant when t2 is substituted for t1, provided that t1 and t2 are codesignative singular terms. It is an undeniable fact that different sentences behave differently when it comes to which substitutions preserve their truth value. What is curious is that this fact has been presented by (...) the philosophical tradition as a puzzle. To be more precise, what is supposed to be puzzling is the breakdown of PS in some sentences. Meanwhile, it is assumed that everything is as it should be, that nothing needs to be explained when we observe that the substitution of 'the number of planets' for 'nine' in 'nine is greater than seven' guarantees the preservation of truth value, in spite of the fact that the subject matter of the former sentence and the subject matter of 'the number of planets is greater than seven' are radically different. The former sentence expresses a claim about numbers and their relationships, whereas the latter sentence makes an assertion about our solar system. (shrink)
Teddy Seidenfeld recently claimed that Kolmogorov's probability theory transgresses the Substitutivity Law. Underscoring the seriousness of Seidenfeld's charge, the author shows that (Popper's version of) the law, to wit: If (∀ D)(Pr(B,D)=Pr(C,D)), then Pr(A,B)=Pr(A,C), follows from just C1. 0≤ Pr(A,B)≤ 1 C2. Pr(A,A)=1 C3. Pr(A & B,C)=Pr(A,B & C)× Pr(B,C) C4. Pr(A & B,C)=Pr(B & A,C) C5. Pr(A,B & C)=Pr(A,C & B), five constraints on Pr of the most elementary and most basic sort.
This dissertation examines critically the assumptions of extensionalism and the traditional doctrine of substitutivity, according to which codesignativeness or coextensionality of terms should be a sufficient condition to guarantee intersubstitution of expression salva veritate. First, the discussion focuses on the traditional justifications of the extensionalist principles of substitutivity. The following alleged sources of support for extensionalism are examined: the claim that the extensionalist approach to substitutivity relies on fundamental principles outside the domain of semantics, like the Law (...) of Indiscernibility of Identicals and Leibniz's Law of Substitutivity; the assumption that all sentences that exhibit failures of substitutivity have in common a certain structure, that they include explicit or implicit intensional operators, which cause failures of substitutivity; the presumption that the extensionalist principles of substitutivity follow from a thesis of compositionality of meaning,according to which the meaning of a complex expression is determined by the meanings of its components and the mode of composition. Second, the intuitive foundations of a theory about the contributions of terms to the assertions expressed by uses of sentences are explored. I claim that this theory provides strong reasons to reject the extensionalist approach to substitutivity. (shrink)
I trace the principles known as the indiscernibility of identicals, "Leibniz's Law", and the principle of substitutivity, beginning with Aristotle, through Leibniz, Frege, and Russell, and culminating in Quine. I argue that the indiscernibility of identicals is an ontological principle and the principle of substitutivity is a linguistic principle. I discuss the relations and conflations of the principles and various attempts to defend the principle of substitutivity from apparent counter-examples, focussing on Quine's attempt to use the principle (...) as a criterion for referential and non-referential occurrences of singular terms. I find Quine's acount ambivalent and counter-intuitive, yet I think his insight that pronouns or variables are paradigmatic of reference is significant. With that as a cue, I suggest an analysis of all singular terms into a counting device and an identifying component. I argue, finally, that the principle of substitutivity holds fundamentally for the counting element, and only "by courtesy" for unanalyzed singular terms. (shrink)
The Russellian approach to the semantics of attitude ascriptions faces a problem in explaining the robust speaker intuitions that it does not predict. A familiar response to the problem is to claim that utterances of attitude ascriptions may differ in their Gricean conversational implicatures. I argue that the appeal to Grice is ad hoc. First, we find that speakers do not typically judge an utterance false merely because it implicates something false. The apparent cancellability of the putative implicatures is irrelevant, (...) since cancellability does not indicate conversational implicature. Finally, the appeal assumes, implausibly, that ordinary speakers generally subscribe to a particular philosophical theory about belief. (shrink)
El artículo discute la formulación de Marcus del principio de sustituibilidad. Se apoyó en una noción de forma lógica en la que el análisis elimina algunos tipos problemáticos de contexto. Defiendo una formulación variante del principio en la cual los contextos problemáticos se acomodan por derecho propio.
In 'A Puzzle about Belief' Saul Kripke appeals to a principle of disquotation that allows us to infer a person's beliefs from the sentences to which she assents (in certain conditions). Kripke relies on this principle in constructing some famous puzzle cases, which he uses to defend the Millian view that the sole semantic function of a proper name is to refer to its bearer. The examples are meant to undermine the anti-Millian objection, grounded in traditional Frege-cases, that truth-value is (...) not always maintained when co-referential names are intersubstituted in belief reports. I argue here that our disquotational practice is sensitive to certain shifts in conversational context, and it is only if we overlook these shifts - if we 'misdisquote' - that we can draw the conclusions Kripke wants to draw from his examples. In the wake of this conclusion, I provide a 'contextualist' treatment of Kripke's puzzle cases. I show how this treatment is motivated by certain norms of rationality, and I defend these norms against an intriguing 'anti-Cartesian' theory of mind. Throughout the paper, I develop the larger implications that my treatment of Kripke's argument has for the semantic theory of names and belief reports, and, more generally, for our picture of the relation between linguistic behaviour and our states of mind. (shrink)
One of the many intriguing features of the axiomatic systems of probability investigated in Popper (1959), appendices _iv, _v, is the different status of the two arguments of the probability functor with regard to the laws of replacement and commutation. The laws for the first argument, (rep1) and (comm1), follow from much simpler axioms, whilst (rep2) and (comm2) are independent of them, and have to be incorporated only when most of the important deductions have been accomplished. It is plain that, (...) in the presence of (comm1), the principle (sub), which says that terms that are intersubstitutable in the first argument are intersubstitutable also in the second argument, implies (comm2), and in Popper’s systems the converse implication obtains. It is naturally asked what is needed in an axiomatic theory of probability in order to enforce this equivalence. Leblanc (1981) offered a rather weak set of axioms, containing (comm1) and (comm2), that suffice for the derivation of (sub). In this paper Leblanc’s result is improved in a number of different ways. Three weaker systems, one of which is incomparable with the other two, are shown to admit the same implication. DOI:10.5007/1808-1711.2011v15n2p271. (shrink)
This paper has three modest aims: to present a puzzle, to show why some obvious solutions aren’t really “easy outs”, and to introduce our own solution. The puzzle is this. When it was small and had waterlogged streets, Toronto carried the moniker ‘Muddy York’. Later, the streets were drained, it grew, and Muddy York officially changed its name to ‘Toronto’. Given this, each premise in the following argument seems true. Yet the conclusion is a contraction.
(e.g., Quine ), the main symptom of the unintelligibility of de re modal language is said to be the failure of coreferential “singular terms” to interchange salva veritate within the scope of modal operators. From this it is supposed to follow..
Philosophers have both produced as well as replied to a number of alleged "counter-examples" to the rule of substitution. Recently, Cartwright has urged that the standard reply to at least one of them is inadequate. The counter-example he singles out is:1). Giorgioni is so-called because of his size.2). Giorgiori = Barbarelli :3). Barbarelli is so-called because of his size.Cartwright argues that since 1) and 2) are true while 3) false, substitution has failed. It is argued in reply that, contrary to (...) Cartwright's claim, substitution does not even occur in the above argument. Rather, the meaning of the predicate "is so-called because of his size" changes from 1) to 3), rendering the invalidity the result of equivocation, not the failure of substitution. (shrink)
This paper addresses a certain objection to the quantificational theory of definite descriptions. According to this objection, the quantificational account cannot provide correct interpretations of definite descriptions embedded in the non-doxastic attitude ascriptions and therefore ought to be rejected. In brief, the objection says that the quantificational theory is committed to the view that a sentence of the form “The F is G” is equivalent to the claim that there is a unique F and it is G, while the ascription (...) such as, e.g., “S wants the F to be G” is not equivalent to the statement that S wants there to be a (unique) F and for it to be G. I argue that this objection is invalid as it rests on a false assumption concerning the substitutivity of the relative clauses in the non-doxastic attitude ascriptions. (shrink)
These days the two most popular approaches to belief ascription are Millianism and Contextualism. The former approach is inconsistent with the existence of ordinary Frege cases, such as Lois believing that Superman flies while failing to believe that Clark Kent flies. The Millian holds that the only truth-conditionally relevant aspect of a proper name is its referent or extension. Contextualism, as I will define it for the purposes of this essay, includes all theories according to which ascriptions of the form (...) ‘S believes that a is F’ and ‘S believes that b is F’, where ‘a’ and ‘b’ are coreferential proper names, may, depending on the context, differ in truth-value even though in those very contexts each ascription relates the same believer to the very same proposition. What the two theories have in common is the claim that names are Millian. What separates the two theories is what they say about belief contexts. In this essay I prove that Millianism is true, Contextualism is true, or our intuitions regarding belief ascriptions are hopelessly inaccurate. As a consequence, my argument is a proof that either names and many general terms are Millian or our intuitions regarding belief ascriptions are hopelessly inaccurate. (shrink)
In this article I offer a three-pronged defense of Millian theories, all of which share the rough idea that all there is to a proper name is its referent, so it has no additional sense. I first give what I believe to be the first correct analysis of Kripke’s puzzle and its anti-Fregean lessons. The main lesson is that the Fregean’s arguments against Millianism and for the existence of semantically relevant senses (that is, individuative elements of propositions or belief contents (...) that are sensitive to our varying personal conceptions of the referents of those elements) are viciously circular. Thus, the Fregean must give new arguments for her central claims. Second, I offer an original, positive argument for the Millian idea that the thoughts that Cicero was bald and that Tully was bald are identical. Incredibly, the argument appeals to nothing but highly intuitive, pre-theoretical principles regarding folk psychological usage—traditionally the source of Fregean intuitions. Third, I examine one of the most important recent papers on Kripke’s puzzle, that by David Sosa (1996). Sosa claims to have found a way to turn the tables on Kripke’s puzzle by using it to argue against Millian theories. I argue that Sosa’s argument on behalf of the Fregean is question-begging. I conclude that Millian theories can be seriously defended without any use of theoretical constructs such as guises or Russellian propositions, and Fregeans need to start over arguing for their theory’s central claims. (shrink)
For years philosophers argued for the existence of distinct yet materially coincident things by appealing to modal and temporal properties. For instance, the statue was made on Monday and could not survive being flattened; the lump of clay was made months before and can survive flattening. Such arguments have been thoroughly examined. Kit Fine has proposed a new set of arguments using the same template. I offer a critical evaluation of what I take to be his central lines of reasoning.
Kripke’s puzzle has puts pressure on the intuitive idea that one can believe that Superman can fly without believing that Clark Kent can fly. If this idea is wrong then many theories of belief and belief ascription are built from faulty data. I argue that part of the proper analysis of Kripke’s puzzle refutes the closure principles that show up in many important arguments in epistemology, e.g., if S is rational and knows that P and that P entails Q, then (...) if she considers these two beliefs and Q, then she is in a position to know that.. (shrink)
My hunch has always been that in the end, Fregeanism will defeat Millianism. So I suspect that my (1998) arguments on behalf of Millianism are flawed. Peter Graham (1999) is confident he has found the flaws, but he has not. I hope that some clarification will encourage others to reveal the errors.
Propositional attitude sentences, such as John believes that snow is white, are traditionally taken to express the holding of a relation between a subject and what ‘that’-clauses like ‘that snow is white’ denote, i.e. propositions. On the traditional account, propositions are abstract, mind- and language-independent entities. Recently, some have raised some serious worries for the traditional account and thought that we were mistaken about the kind of entities propositions are. Over the last ten years there has then been a boom (...) of accounts of propositions in terms of mental acts . But Friederike Moltmann has recently suggested that in accounting for attitudes we should forget about mind- and language-independent entities and acts and follow Twardowski in focusing instead on attitudinal objects, which are the products of our mental life. In this paper, I will focus on some semantic problems that any product-based account seems to face. Moreover, I will show that product-based accounts may be also criticised on ontological grounds. My conclusion will be that we lack a reason to think that in accounting for propositional attitudes we should focus on the alleged products of our mental lives. (shrink)