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  1. added 2018-02-17
    Act-Based Conceptions of Propositional Content. Contemporary and Historical Perspectives.Friederike Moltmann & Mark Textor (eds.) - 2017 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Ever since Frege, propositions have played a central role in philosophy of language. Propositions are generally conceived as abstract objects that have truth conditions essentially and fulfill both the role of the meaning of sentences and of the objects or content of propositional attitudes. More recently, the abstract conception of propositions has given rise to serious dissatisfaction among a number of philosophers, who have instead proposed a conception of propositional content based on cognitive acts (Hanks, Moltmann, Soames). This approach is (...)
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  2. added 2017-10-20
    Ultra-Liberal Attitude Reports.Kyle Blumberg & Ben Holguín - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (8):2043-2062.
    Although much has been written about the truth-conditions of de re attitude reports, little attention has been paid to certain ‘ultra-liberal’ uses of those reports. We believe that if these uses are legitimate, then a number of interesting consequences for various theses in philosophical semantics follow. The majority of the paper involves describing these consequences. In short, we argue that, if true, ultra-liberal reports: bring counterexamples to a popular approach to de re attitude ascriptions, which we will call ‘descriptivism’; and (...)
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  3. added 2016-12-08
    A Test for Theories of Belief Ascription.B. Frances - 2002 - Analysis 62 (2):116-125.
    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 (...)
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  4. added 2016-09-06
    About Oneself: De Se Thought and Communication.Manuel García-Carpintero & Stephan Torre (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    Inspired by Castañeda (1966, 1968), Perry (1979) and Lewis (1979) showed that a specific variety of singular thoughts, thoughts about oneself “as oneself” – de se thoughts, as Lewis called them – raise special issues, and they advanced rival accounts. Their suggestive examples raise the problem of de se thought – to wit, how to characterize it so as to give an accurate account of the data, tracing its relations to singular thoughts in general. After rehearsing the main tenets of (...)
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  5. added 2015-11-18
    Objects of Thought.Ian Rumfitt - forthcoming - In Gary Ostertag (ed.), Meaning and Other Things: Essays on the Philosophy of Stephen Schiffer. Oxford University Press.
    In his book The Things We Mean, Stephen Schiffer advances a subtle defence of what he calls the ‘face-value’ analysis of attributions of belief and reports of speech. Under this analysis, ‘Harold believes that there is life on Venus’ expresses a relation between Harold and a certain abstract object, the proposition that there is life on Venus. The present essay first proposes an improvement to Schiffer’s ‘pleonastic’ theory of propositions. It then challenges the face-value analysis. There will be such things (...)
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  6. added 2015-04-14
    The Four Puzzles of Reference.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    This is an essay for undergraduates. I present the basic problems of reference for descriptions and names.
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  7. added 2015-04-13
    The New Leibniz's Law Arguments for Pluralism.Bryan Frances - 2006 - Mind 115 (460):1007-1022.
    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.
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  8. added 2015-04-13
    Disquotation and Substitutivity.Bryan Frances - 2000 - Mind 109 (435):519-25.
    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 (...)
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  9. added 2015-04-13
    Contradictory Belief and Epistemic Closure Principles.Bryan Frances - 1999 - Mind and Language 14 (2):203–226.
    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 (...)
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  10. added 2015-04-13
    Defending Millian Theories.Bryan Frances - 1998 - Mind 107 (428):703-728.
    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 (...)
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  11. added 2014-11-20
    Hare and Others on the Proposition.John Corcoran - 2011 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 15 (1):51-76.
    History witnesses alternative approaches to “the proposition”. The proposition has been referred to as the object of belief, disbelief, and doubt: generally as the object of propositional attitudes, that which can be said to be believed, disbelieved, understood, etc. It has also been taken to be the object of grasping, judging, assuming, affirming, denying, and inquiring: generally as the object of propositional actions, that which can be said to be grasped, judged true or false, assumed for reasoning purposes, etc. The (...)
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  12. added 2014-03-31
    Semantics for Propositional Attitude Ascriptions.Graham Oppy - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 67 (1):1 - 18.
    This paper provides a semantics for propositional attitude ascriptions. (In this respect, the title of the paper is quite well chosen.).
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  13. added 2014-03-30
    So-Labeled Neo-Fregeanism.Mark Crimmins - 1993 - Philosophical Studies 69 (2-3):265 - 279.
    I explain and criticize a theory of beliefs and of belief sentences offered by Graeme Forbes. My main criticism will be directed at Forbes' idea that, as a matter of the semantic rules of belief reporting -- as a matter of the meaning of belief ascriptions -- to get at the subject's way of thinking in an attitude ascription, we must use expressions that are "linguistic counterparts" of the subject's expressions. I think we often do something like that, but that (...)
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  14. added 2014-03-27
    Arguing for Frege's Fundamental Principle.Bryan Frances - 1998 - Mind and Language 13 (3):341–346.
    Saul Kripke's puzzle about belief demonstrates the lack of soundness of the traditional argument for the Fregean fundamental principle that the sentences 'S believes that a is F' and 'S believes that b is F' can differ in truth value even if a = b. This principle is a crucial premise in the traditional Fregean argument for the existence of semantically relevant senses, individuative elements of beliefs that are sensitive to our varying conceptions of what the beliefs are about. Joseph (...)
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  15. added 2014-03-06
    Quantifiers and Propositional Attitudes: Quine Revisited.Sean Crawford - 2008 - Synthese 160 (1):75 - 96.
    Quine introduced a famous distinction between the ‘notional’ sense and the ‘relational’ sense of certain attitude verbs. The distinction is both intuitive and sound but is often conflated with another distinction Quine draws between ‘dyadic’ and ‘triadic’ (or higher degree) attitudes. I argue that this conflation is largely responsible for the mistaken view that Quine’s account of attitudes is undermined by the problem of the ‘exportation’ of singular terms within attitude contexts. Quine’s system is also supposed to suffer from the (...)
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  16. added 2012-10-25
    Are Salmon's 'Guises' Disguised Fregean Senses?João Branquinho - 1990 - Analysis 50 (1):19 - 24.
    In a review of Frege's Puzzle1, Graeme Forbes makes the claim that Salmon's account of belief might be seen, under certain conditions, as a mere notational variant of a neo-Fregean theory; and thus that such an account might be reduced to a neo-Fregean one simply by rewriting it in terms of Fregean terminology. With a view to supporting his claim, Forbes offers an outline of an account of belief which, according to him, would satisfy the following conditions: (i) it could (...)
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  17. added 2009-06-16
    A Solution to Frege's Puzzle.George Bealer - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:17-60.
    This paper provides a new approach to a family of outstanding logical and semantical puzzles, the most famous being Frege's puzzle. The three main reductionist theories of propositions (the possible-worlds theory, the propositional-function theory, the propositional-complex theory) are shown to be vulnerable to Benacerraf-style problems, difficulties involving modality, and other problems. The nonreductionist algebraic theory avoids these problems and allows us to identify the elusive nondescriptive, non-metalinguistic, necessary propositions responsible for the indicated family of puzzles. The algebraic approach is also (...)
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  18. added 2008-12-31
    Defending the Defense.Bryan Frances - 1999 - Mind 108 (431):563-566.
    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.
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