Defenses of Millianism

Wayne A. Davis

in Nondescriptive Meaning and Reference

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780199261659
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603099 | DOI:
Defenses of Millianism

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This chapter reviews efforts to explain away the problems with Millian theories, and shows that they are unsuccessful. Soames’s solution to Russell’s problem (existence failures) either adopts a radical modal realism or uses an intentional sense of reference. Some attempts to rebut Frege’s problem (substitutivity failures) ignore opaque interpretations. Kripke took the argument against substitutivity to depend on strong disquotation principles, and presented a puzzle to show that they are problematic. But weaker disquotation principles are available, and substitutivity arguments can be presented without relying on disquotation principles. Gricean attempts to explain away substitutivity failures in terms of metalinguistic or mode implicatures do not help with Russell’s problem or Fine terms, and are unsatisfactory even for Frege’s problem.

Keywords: existence failures; substitutivity failures; disquotation principles; Kripke’s puzzle; Gricean defenses; metalinguistic implicatures; mode implicatures; triadic relation theory; Soames’s descriptive assertion theory

Chapter.  15393 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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