[FOM] Godel numbers, use, and mention

Richard Heck heck at fas.harvard.edu
Sat Jun 7 16:37:19 EDT 2003

> > (5) Ralph wants [Ortcutt to eat dirt],
> > then it is not clear to me whether, if Ortcutt is Smith, it follows,
> > logically, that Ralph wants Smith to eat dirt. Perhaps not. But there
> > may be an ambiguity here.
> As an aside, my understanding of standard theories of propositional attitude
> reports is that:
> (5') Ralph wants Smith to eat dirt.
> does indeed follow from (5) if we are only concerned with the propositional
> content of the that clause, and ignore the "mode of presentation" of 
> Ralph/Smith....
Certainly, there are theories on which that would hold. But I don't know
if I would want to call them the "standard" theories. I'm not sure there
is much standard in this vexed area. In any event, it is, or should be,
obvious that there is a de re (or 'objectual') reading of (5), on which
substitution will hold. All views (even Frege's own) will allow that.
What is controversial is (i) whether there is also a de dicto (or
'notional') reading of (5) and, if so, (ii) how the two are related. 

Richard Heck

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