[FOM] Simmons paradox with a formal Denotes relation

Sandy Hodges SandyHodges at attbi.com
Sun Feb 16 12:13:34 EST 2003

Concerning whether Heloise or Peter Abelard refers attributively in
their second expressions, I wrote to Harvey Slater:

What is different about the expressions, or their contexts, which could
provide grounds for saying that one expression refers attributively and
the other does not?    If you have a theory of reference that leads to
the conclusion that Peter's expression refers attributively and
Heloise's does not, or vice versa, I'd like to hear it.   If you have a
theory that says that one refers attributively and the other does not,
but there is no way to tell which, then I'd say it's a poor theory that
can't reach a conclusion about this.

He replies:

I don't think I need a 'theory' to say the latter, so it cannot be a
'poor theory' as a result. Sp is 17 or 17+x, Sh is 62 or 62+y; one
cannot have Sp=17+Sh together with Sh=62+Sp; but that is all one can
say.  Its being all is just what allows there to be some sum for each
speaker while there is no such thing as *the sum* in either case - as
with the toy example from Simmons in my original explanation.

So I now ask:

May I conclude from this that you think there is some fact of the
matter?   Do you think that either Peter in fact refers attributively
and Heloise does not, or that Heloise in fact refers attributively and
Peter does not, or that in fact neither refers attributively, but you
don't know which?

Do you agree with: Either Peter refers attributively or Peter does not
refer attributively?

------- -- ---- - --- -- --------- -----
Sandy Hodges / Alameda,  California,   USA
mail to SandyHodges at attbi.com will reach me.

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