Chapter

De Re et De Dicto

Alvin Plantinga

in Essays in the Metaphysics of Modality

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195103762
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833573 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195103769.003.0002
De Re et De Dicto

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I begin the chapter by considering the distinction between modality de re and modality de dicto in the works of Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, G. E. Moore, and Norman Malcolm. I then consider two similar objections to modality de re brought by William Kneale and W. V. Quine. Both of these objections fail because they depend on a de re/de dicto confusion. Moreover, I formulate a general rule for correlating propositions that express modality de re with propositions that express modality de dicto. The formulation I offer relies heavily on proper names and I conclude by suggesting further routes of inquiry into the connection between proper names and essentialism.

Keywords: de dicto; de re; essential; essentialism; modality; proper names; property; proposition

Chapter.  8797 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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