From Frege to direct reference: Value assigned logical forms as an explanation of contradictory de re beliefs

Spewak, David Charle (2007) From Frege to direct reference: Value assigned logical forms as an explanation of contradictory de re beliefs. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The primary concern of this work is the substitution of co-referring names in belief ascriptions. Before an explanation of belief ascriptions is given, the development of direct reference is considered with some advance on the character of proper names. Attention is paid to relevant philosophical developments leading to the espoused view. Frege claimed that there is a distinction between the sense and reference proper names. This is considered as well as what Frege put forward with regards to indirect speech. Then I discuss Kripke's response to Frege, and similar theories. With the descriptive theories of naming considered inadequate, a new account of how names refer is given through Kripke's picture of reference based on reference sharing. Reference sharing is further developed in line with Gareth Evans's name-using practices. Out of the Kripkean picture developed direct reference. Any theory of direct reference is a theory that claims that the semantic content of a directly referential term is simply its referent. David Kaplan gave an account of direct reference using indexicals and demonstratives as a paradigm. His account showed that there are two types of meaning, character and content, where character is the linguistic meaning and content is the semantic meaning of a term. It is shown that Kaplan's distinction is clear for indexicals, but his claim that character and content collapse into reference for proper names is unsatisfactory. A new and more radical account of character is then given for proper names. It is maintained that proper names are directly referential, so the content of a name is its referent, but its character is a function from name-using practice to referent. This account is developed in contrast to the view of Recanati. Direct reference gives a natural explanation of ordinary assertions, but is often considered problematic in belief attributions. Since the semantic content of a name is its referent, co-referring names should be substitutable salva veritate in all sentences. In belief attributions this is counter-intuitive. Kripke's discussion of this puzzle is considered to show that this is a problem for any theory of reference. After considering the problem for a theory of names, pragmatic solutions are considered, particularly the theories of Scott Soames and Nathan Salmon. Soames's view is shown unsatisfactory as it does not explain belief toward singular propositions, and can give the intuitively wrong truth-value for some veridical propositional attitudes. Salmon claims that belief is really a ternary relation between individuals, propositions, and modes of apprehension with propositions. He then claims that speakers cannot express this ternary relation, but "fake it" through pragmatics. This view is rejected in the hope of developing an account of belief that is consistent with direct reference and psychological accounts, but does not require speakers to fake it. In my account different ways of believing a proposition are given in value assigned logical forms. Value assigned logical forms give the metaphysics of belief as a binary relation. Substitution of co-referring terms is possible in belief attributions so long as it does not change the value assigned logical form of the belief attribution. An account is then given which explains behaviour when such contradictory beliefs are rationally held. It is also explained why there is hesitation to make substitutions in belief attributions and why it is more appropriate for speakers to use certain words over others in belief attributions.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Joann Spewak
Keywords: Philosophy, Logic
Date of Award: 2007
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2007-74208
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/74208

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