Russell on substitutivity and the abandonment of propositions

Philosophical Review 120 (2):151-205 (2011)
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Abstract

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

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Ian Proops
University of Texas at Austin

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