Mark Richard

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552238
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577451 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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There seems to be a lot of opacity in our language. Quotation is opaque. The modal idioms are apparently opaque. Propositional attitude ascriptions seem opaque, as do the environments created by verbs such as ‘seeks’ and ‘fears’. Opacity raises a number of issues — first and foremost, whether there is such a thing. This article concentrates on the question of whether there is any opacity to be found in natural language, examining various reasons one might have for denying that apparent opacity is genuine.

Keywords: opacity; quotation; modal idioms; propositional attitude; natural language

Article.  11038 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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