A problem for predicativism solved by predicativism

Analysis 75 (3):362-370 (2015)
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Abstract

Consider the following sentences: In every race, the colt won; In every race, John won.John Hawthorne and David Manley say that the difference between these two sentences raises a problem for Predicativism about names. According to the currently more standard version of Predicativism, a bare singular name in argument position, like ‘John’ in , is embedded in a definite description with an unpronounced definite article. The problem is supposed to be that permits a covarying reading that allows for different races to have been won by different colts, while does not permit a covarying reading—it can be true only if there is a single John that won every race. But, the objection runs, if the name ‘John’ is really embedded in a definite description with an unpronounced definite article, then the two sentences are structurally parallel and should not differ with respect to covariation. Appealing to Jason Stanley's ‘Nominal Restriction’ , I show that the difference between the two sentences above not only does not raise a problem for Predicativism but also is actually predicted by it

Author's Profile

Delia Fara
Last affiliation: Princeton University

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